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Uphold the rule of law spirit

  • The PH government must prove to Malaysians that there is no political intervention in the judiciary.

Sin Chew Daily

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has been charged with three counts of CBT and one count of abuse of power involving a total sum of RM84 million. He could be imprisoned not more than 20 years plus caning if convicted under any of the CBT charges.

This is the first time a former prime minister has faced criminal charges in the court. Coupled with their relation to the 1MDB scandal, Najib's case has drawn tremendous attention worldwide.

On the cyberspace, Malaysians have passed their own subjective comments not specifically targeting this particular case, while media reports and commentaries are veered from various angles.

Overall speaking, this marks a new development following the change of federal administration post-GE14, while Najib's supporters have been able to show their support and care for the former PM through proper channels.

After he was arrested by the MACC on Tuesday night, Najib uploaded a self-defending video on the social media claiming that this whole thing was political retaliation. He also pointed out that everyone should be given a fair trial.

Indeed, as a common citizen now, Najib has every right to defend for himself and seek a fair trial in the court in order to clear his name.

His lawyers have sought a temporary gag order at the High Court to stop the media from "judging" Najib before the case is concluded. This is also one of the rights he is entitled to.

The judge has approved the application, but the media are still allowed to carry follow-up stories on the case depending on the scope of the temporary gag order.

Additionally, the Bar Council has voiced its concern on the legal status of the special task force investigating 1MDB to charge Najib. It is necessary for the relevant authorities to clarify on this matter in a bid to avoid other legal issues that may arise from it and not to erode the government's image or shake the confidence of the public.

All these point to the fact that Malaysia is a country run on the rule of law, and there are sets of laws and regulations to govern the prosecution powers, individual rights, media freedom and the freedom of expression.

From the time Najib was summoned for questioning, to his arrest and prosecution, we can see the fair treatment accorded to the former PM. The public are of the opinion that the new PH government has been acting quite fairly without a hint of political retaliation.

DPM Wan Azizah has said she hopes the MACC would accord Najib respectful treatment, and that she will pray for justice for Najib and his family so that the legal proceedings can go on impartially.

PKR vice president Rafizi Ramli tweeted on Tuesday night that even though he had harshly criticized Najib in the past, he hoped Najib would receive kind treatment from the authorities, adding that he believed justice would eventually be done, and that was exactly the change he was fighting for all these years.

It is hoped that the PH government will prove to Malaysians that there is no political intervention in the judiciary and that everything will go according to the law so that the court can try and judge a person impartially.

At the same time, the public must also respect the court proceedings and not to pass their own judgments before the court comes out with the verdict.

 

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