Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Pardon reforms needed. The King's pardon - the role of the PM and government of the day? Victim's rights? BERSIH Protest? Prisoner Najib posting on FB?

The King's Pardon is not the sole decision of the King - he can only act on the advice of the Pardon Board

Given the fact that the Pardon Board comprises of the Minister responsible for the Federal Territories, and the Attorney General. When Anwar became PM, he was the Minister responsible for the Federal Territories until a recent Cabinet re-shuffle made a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department the Minister responsible for the Federal Territories, and would not that new Minister do as instructed by the Prime Minister? The Attorney General is also appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister. What about the other 3 members of the Pardon Board - reasonably, they too would most likely be appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister. There is no mention that the King appoints on his own. How many in Pardon Board are 'chosen' by PM Anwar?

There are tens of thousands of convicted prisoners in Malaysia, and they all can apply or petition for a Kings pardon or the Ruler's pardon. So, how many petitions of pardon are there - and given that the pardon board only meets several times a year, is it sufficient time to hear all pardon applications ... so, did Najib's pardon jump the queue? Did Anwar's own pardon jump the queue?

Any politician if convicted and sentenced   ' imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to a fine of not less than two thousand ringgit...

(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...(Article 48 1(e) Federal Constitution)

And, he cannot be a MP or Senator until after 5 years from the date he was released, or paid the fine... 

(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.

Anwar, when he received the pardon - got a FULL PARDON - that meant he could immediately thereafter(without having to wait for a further 5 years) become a MP or Senator or even become a Minister or Prime Minister.

Can the PM or government of the day determine when the pardon will be heard, and the nature of the pardon the King will have to grant? 

Well, after Anwar Ibrahim's pardon so soon after Pakatan Harapan came into power after GE14 raised this question. His prison term was almost coming to an end - but without a FULL PARDON, he will have to wait to be MP, Senator or Minister.

The recent pardon of Najib that saw the number of years he had to serve in prison be cut from 12 years to 6 years, and the fine he had to pay be cut from RM210 million to RM50 million.. Unlike Anwar, whose crime was sodomy where the victim was one person, Najib's crime was against the people of Malaysia committed whilst he was a Minister/Prime Minister.. The losses that Malaysia suffered is far from being recuperated, and there are other cases still pending in the courts...

Is Anwar under threat that UMNO/BN will withdraw its support? Even so, one expects Anwar and the Pakatan Harapan to do the right things without fear or favour... 

In any event, there is much criticisms... and sadly even the draconian Sedition Act and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act has been used against... Tony Pua is being investigated under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

BERSIH (the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections), who once had the capacity to get hundreds of thousands of people to come out to exercise their right to peaceful assembly, is talking about the possibility of holding a protest against the pardon of Najib. MAYBE, it should - it certainly will be an effective means of communicating the people's views to the King, the Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and the government.  

Earlier, Bersih chairman Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz told online news portal Malaysiakini that the non-governmental organisation had discussed the possibility of holding a protest against the Pardons Board's decision.

"During the meeting yesterday, we are heading towards that direction (of a protest)... but we need to build the momentum first," he was quoted as saying.

Will BERSIH hold a peaceful assembly - Will the government/police allow it? The people wants to express themselves, and now the peoples' representatives the MPs, the political parties(DAP, Amanah,..) are too silent? Is staying in power more important than doing what is right and just?

It is the duty of the people to bravely express themselves when their government and King does things that they believe is not right. Only way sometimes for their voices and sentiments to be heard at times.

VICTIM's of crimes - at present, they do not seem to have a right to be heard by the Pardons Board or the King/Ruler when pardon is being decided for criminals that violated their rights - is it not right that victims also be given the right to be heard before any convict is pardoned?

Remember, Anwar's FULL Pardon never overturned his conviction 

There was much confusion as to whether the King's pardon meant that Anwar's conviction was set aside. A pardon really can only cut short the sentence...

On the issue of conviction, the court found that the pardon document made no reference to the fact that the conviction was set aside.

"There is no question of the court's power being usurped," CJ Tengku Maimun said. -

Anwar Ibrahim's pardon never set aside his conviction - Federal Court.

Now is the time we need to look at the REFORMS needed for the entire King/Rulers Pardon process, the Composition of the Pardon Board, the Pardon Procedure, The Right of Victims and/or others to be heard before a decision is made about pardon, Too many convicted - so many pardon applications, is there a need for the establishment of an independent Pardon's Mechanism, Pardon Board advice and Judicial Review - we do not want King/Ruler acting on 'bad' advice,...   

ALSO of concern is the impact of the Pardon on the other pending criminal cases against Najib...and other politicians, their family and friends... Many came out to provide information and stand as witnesses despite fears... Many worked hard including prosecutors and judges and if the Pardons can speedily reduce sentences ....

See also:- 

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

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? 

Najib's PARDON now may have serious impact to Malaysia, Malaysian law enforcement, prosecution and courts? 

Ex-PM Najib sentence of 72 years imprisonment, beats ex-DPM Anwar's 1999 corruption conviction and sentence of 24 years?

Anwar Ibrahim's pardon never set aside his conviction - Federal Court. 

Of Najib's Pardon, Pardon REFORMS? Anwar pardoned weeks before his sentence ended, when should one be pardoned?

Anwar Ibrahim - his pardon may be not valid? High Court will decide ...

Anwar, time to investigate, prosecute and fair trial for all false witnesses, bad prosecutors and judges?...travesty or miscarriage of justice?

Anwar Ibrahim - Will this be the 1st 'abuse of power' by new government?

Anwar's Pardon - Meaning, Validity and Matters concerning Attorney General?

Malaysian Bar calls for reforms after Najib's sentence reduced

KUALA LUMPUR: The Pardons Board's recent announcement reducing Datuk Seri Najib Razak's sentences has sparked calls for reform in Malaysia's institutions, specifically the Pardons Board itself.

Malaysian Bar president Karen Cheah Yee Lynn said that to prevent the influence of the Executive and ensure independence in the pardons process, the government's role in the Pardons Board should be reduced, if not " completely eliminated".

"To this end, an amendment is required to remove the influence of the Attorney General and the Federal Territories Minister or Chief Ministers of States in the Pardons Board and to appoint independent persons to the Pardons Board to ensure inclusivity in terms of expressions from the public," she said in a statement.

Cheah said a further reform to the Pardons Board would be to introduce safeguards that ensure such power is exercised sparingly as well as within clear boundaries and established circumstances or categories.

"Remorse and repentance surely must be a substantial part of such an exercise. To date, after having served one year and five months in prison, Najib has yet to show remorse, any form of repentance, nor apology for committing the offences of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering, for which he was convicted.

"The Malaysian Bar unequivocally insists that the deterioration of due process cannot go unchecked and unimpeded.

"It is alarming that this announcement by the Pardons Board comes in relatively close succession with another controversial high-profile case, namely Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's discharge not amounting to an acquittal in the Yayasan Akalbudi case," Cheah said.

The Malaysian Bar, she said, could not stress enough that a similar discharge must not recur for Najib's ongoing 1MDB prosecution and two other ongoing cases.

Failing which, Cheah warned, it would render the government's efforts to combat corruption hollow and meaningless, and it would send the message that political power holds the rule of law in shackles.

"The Pardons Board's announcement on Feb 2 through the media statement has thrown light, on a large scale, on the opaqueness of the entire pardons process and is indeed the clarion call needed to push for reforms to the Pardons Board and its processes.

"While it is true that justice must be tempered with mercy, it is also true that mercy must not rob justice."

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs chief executive officer Dr Tricia Yeoh was reportedly saying that the Federal Territories Pardons Board's decision last week to halve Najib's jail time from 12 to six years and reduce his fine from RM210 million to RM50 million signals that abuse of power and misappropriation of public funds are easily forgiven.

Reforms group CSO Platform for Reform had expressed concerns over the Federal Territories Pardon Board's lack of transparency surrounding the lesser sentence and fine granted to Najib. - NST, 7/2/2024

DAP’s Tony Pua says fully cooperated with police investigation over remarks on Pardons Board decision

DAP’s Tony Pua says fully cooperated with police investigation over remarks on Pardons Board decision
Tony Pua speaks to reporters after leaving Bukit Aman police headquarters, February 5, 2024. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 — DAP’s Tony Pua said that he had fully cooperated with the police after he was summoned to Bukit Aman today following his remarks on the Pardons Board’s recent decision to halve the sentence of convicted former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

News portal The Star today reported that Pua arrived at Bukit Aman at 12:50pm but only entered at 1.13pm and later left around 2.30pm accompanied by his lawyer Haijan Omar.

“I was asked to give a statement pertaining to a sedition investigation in connection with five Facebook posts that I made.

“I gave full cooperation to the police,” he was quoted as saying.

Pua, who denies any seditious elements in his Facebook posts, expressed his commitment to the investigation.

“We hope the police will conduct a thorough and prompt investigation.

“I will hand over my laptop to the police later as I used it to upload the Facebook posts and I will also hand over access to my Facebook account,” he was quoted as saying

According to the news portal, the Special Investigation Unit oversees the ongoing investigations.

Yesterday, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain said the police had opened an investigation into comments that Pua shared via Facebook as they are deemed as inciting the public to despise the royal institution when the decision was the Agong’s prerogative to make under Article 42 of the Federal Constitution.

He said that Pua is being investigated under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

Najib had initially received a 12-year sentence and a RM210 million fine for abuse of power, breach of trust, and money laundering related to RM42 million from SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

In the official statement on behalf of the Federal Territories Pardons Board, the Prime Minister’s Department’s Legal Affairs Division as the board’s secretariat said the decision was made following a January 29 meeting of the Pardons Board for the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.

It said the Pardons Board meeting, which was chaired by then Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had considered five pardons applications, including the one from Najib.

Under the Federal Constitution, the Agong chairs the meetings of the Pardons Board for the Federal Territories, which comprises the attorney general, the Federal Territories minister, and a maximum of three other members appointed by the Agong. - Malay Mail, 5/2/2024

Najib to Bersih: 'Hold' your protests

KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih should accept the challenge to participate in an open forum with incarcerated former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, before choosing to hold protests over his reduced prison sentence.

In a post on his Facebook page today, Najib said the electoral watchdog should use the platform to explain why they opposed the Pardons Board's decision to grant him a shorter jail sentence.

"Seeing that Bukit Gelugor member of Parliament Ramkarpal Singh and Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin have rejected (the invitation) while Tony Pua has remained silent, this invitation has been extended to Bersih yesterday.

"If Bersih's reasons to disagree with the reduced prison sentence are correct, then this platform can help with their intentions of building the momentum for a demonstration," he said.

Earlier, Bersih chairman Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz told online news portal Malaysiakini that the non-governmental organisation had discussed the possibility of holding a protest against the Pardons Board's decision.

"During the meeting yesterday, we are heading towards that direction (of a protest)... but we need to build the momentum first," he was quoted as saying.

Muhammad Faisal had said Bersih would call for a press conference on the matter, alongside several civil society groups, student groups, and other youth movements.

On Feb 2, the Federal Territories Pardons Board chaired by then-Yang diPertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah decided to reduce Datuk Seri Najib Razak's fine as well as halve his 12-year jail term to six.

Najib will be released from prison on Aug 23,2028.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the board's decision to reduce Najib's jailtime and fine was due to the "mercy and compassion" of Al-Sultan Abdullah.

Najib was sentenced to 12 years' jailafter he was found guilty of one count of abuse of power in the Retirement Fund Inc's RM4 billion loan to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

He was also found guilty with three counts each of criminal breach of trust and abuse of power involving RM42 million of SRC funds.

Apart from being jailed, he was also fined RM210 million. - NST, 6/2/2024

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