Monday, February 05, 2024

More about Najib's Pardon - Is the Pardons Board under the Cabinet? What is FULL PARDON? AG must explain and clarify confusions ...?

Odd that the Media Statement about Najib's Pardon was issued using the letterhead of the Prime Minister's Department and not the Istana(Palace), as it is the King that pardons, and not the Pardon's Board.




Compare with the media statement issued by the Istana(Palace) when Anwar was pardoned. I believe that this is not FAKE (If, it is, please inform me). Anyway, rightfully it should be King or the palace that issues a media my opinion.

It is just a media statement about the Pardon - but interestingly, there is no name of the person  that issued the Media Statement on behalf of the Pardon's Board. Is there even a URUSETIA(or Secretariat) for the Pardons Board.

The Pardon's Board is definitely not under the Prime Minister or a Department under the Prime Minister. It is and/or ought to be independent of the Prime Minister or the Executive arm of government.

See earlier post :-

Najib's Pardon - King, not Pardon Board have the power - As the King did not tell us when he was King, is there any consequences? 

FULL PARDON -  A full pardon restores certain citizenship rights forfeited upon criminal conviction, like the right to be able to immediately thereafter stand for elections to be a Member of Parliament. Without a full pardon, although free from prison, one cannot contest in elections to become a member of Parliament for a further 5 years... 

48  Disqualification for membership of Parliament(Federal Constitution)

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Article, a person is disqualified for being a member of either House of Parliament if—

(a) he is and has been found or declared to be of unsound mind; or

(b) he is an undischarged bankrupt; or....

(e) he has been convicted of an offence by a court of law in the Federation (or, before Malaysia Day, in the territories comprised in the State of Sabah or Sarawak or in Singapore) and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to a fine of not less than two thousand ringgit and has not received a free pardon; or....

 (3) The disqualification of a person under paragraph (d) or paragraph (e) of Clause (1) may be removed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and shall, if not so removed, cease at the end of the period of five years beginning with the date on which the return mentioned in the said paragraph (d) was required to be lodged, or, as the case may be, the date on which the person convicted as mentioned in the said paragraph (e) was released from custody or the date on which the fine mentioned in the said paragraph (e) was imposed on such person; and a person shall not be disqualified under paragraph (f) of Clause (1) by reason only of anything done by him before he became a citizen.

A FULL PARDON (or pengampunan penuh) allows one to immediately contest without waiting for 5 years to past.

Likewise, in Societies Act -

9A  Disqualifications applicable to office-bearers, advisers and employees of registered societies (Societies Act 1966)

(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (4), a person shall be disqualified from being, and shall not become or remain, an officebearer, adviser or employee of a registered society-

(a) if he has been convicted of any offence against this Act; or

(b) if he has been convicted of any offence under any other law and sentenced to a fine of not less than two thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year; or

(c) if there is in force against him any order of detention, restriction, supervision, restricted residence, banishment or deportation under any law relating to the security of, or public order in, Malaysia or any part thereof, or to prevention of crime, preventive detention, restricted residence, banishment or immigration; or....

(2) The disqualification of a person under paragraph (1)(b) shall cease at the end of the period of five years beginning with the date on which the person convicted was released from custody or the date on which the fine mentioned was imposed, as the case may be....

(4) Any person who is subject to any disqualification under paragraph (1)(a), (b) or (c) may apply to the Registrar to be exempted from the application of such disqualification, and the Registrar may, if he deems it proper to do so, grant him such exemption for such period as the Registrar may specify and subject to such limitations, restrictions, terms or conditions as he may decide to impose.

There are similar restrictions imposed on the convicted in some other Acts.

If not for the FULL PARDON, Anwar would have had to wait for 5 years after he was released, to be able to contest to become a Member of Parliament, and he would also not be able to be an office bearer in any political party, be it PKR and/or the Pakatan Harapan. 

In my opinion, a FULL PARDON certainly does not OVERTURN the Court's finding of guilt and/or conviction. 

It is just not right that any Pardon Board, made of 5 persons, being the Attorney General, Minister responsible for Federal Territories(or the Chief Minister/Menteri Besar/State Premier for other States/Regions) and 3 other person can advise the King/Ruler to overturn any finding of guilt or criminal conviction. Only the courts can overturn a conviction, and mind you that even after the final appeal fails, the convicted can still go back to court urging the Courts to overturn the convictions.

As this is a matter of legal interpretation, it may be best that the Attorney General explains what has happened including whether the King had pardoned Najib or not. 

* The fact that the media statement was issued by the Pardon Board with no name/s is an issue, when rightfully the Pardon Board is only meant to advise the King, who then shall issue a statement or proclamation that one is pardoned and that the sentenced is reduced?

* Now that the previous King is no more King as of 31/1/2024, and noting that the Pardon Board(nay just the Secretariat of the Pardons Board) issues a statement on 2/2/2024, after Malaysia has a new King. 

* Is it proper for the Secretariat of the Pardons Board to be under the Prime Ministers Department, or should it not be an independent entity not under the Prime Minister or Executive, but an independent entity.

* There is no law that provides for the creation or maintenance of a Secretariat of the Pardons Board, and which stipulate who is responsible for the appointment and/or conduct of such persons who sit in this Secretariat or other employees that help the Pardons Board in their work - when obviously all such employees/staff must be directly under the Pardons Board - not any Minister in the Cabinet.

* The Pardons Board advises the King - how do the Pardons Board decide? What was the decision in the case of Najib's alleged pardon - was it unanimous. How did the Minister vote? How did the AG vote? Should not the AG and the Minister abstain from the decision making process? 

* Should not the Pardon Board provide good reasons and justification for the advice it gives to the King?

* In terms of the reduction of the FINE by more than half - is there any justification for doing this, as this decision has deprived Malaysia of RM160 million ringgit. With regard to the fine, he was to pay a fine of RM210 million (in default five years' imprisonment), and now the Pardons Board reduced it to RM50 million(in default 1 years imprisonment). Note also, the fine is provided in the written law - (b) a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the gratification which is the subject matter of the offence, where such gratification is capable of being valued or is of a pecuniary nature, or ten thousand ringgit, whichever is the higher. So, the reduction of fine went contrary to the law(enacted by the Legislative) and also the court order. Can and such kinds of fines be reduced by the King(acting on the advice of the Pardons Board)?

## The law on fines need to be improved - The time set for the payment of fines should be set. Interest should be added on if the convict delays on the payment of fines.  Maybe the same rules about judgment sums should apply to fines. Considering the dropping ringgit, the value of money is dropping...By delaying the payment of fines, one actually benefits ...


No comments: