A tough decision for Sabri

Former prime minister Najib Razak’s conviction by the High Court for abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering was upheld by the Federal Court and he is now in jail beginning his 12-year sentence. He has been proven to be guilty. So, it is mind-boggling that his supporters are demanding a royal pardon!

He hasn’t even served one week in jail and his supporters are already clamouring for a royal pardon. Blinded by loyalty, they can’t see that if their request was granted, it would put the royal institution in a bad light — as one which does not respect the judgement of the courts. I like to think that the king with good counsel at his disposal will not play into the hands of Najib’s supporters.

It is unbelievable that Najib’s supporters want a royal pardon — as unbelievable as former prime minister and Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin accepting to be installed as prime minister when he knew he could not prove a majority.

This is what happens when power is put in the hands of Umno and former members who abuse the power of their positions. They use power for their own ends even if it goes against the rule of law. We have seen it in the way Najib ran the country and he is in jail now for it! We saw it in the way Muhyiddin governed by installing a huge bloated Cabinet and luring MPs to join it with all sorts of enticements although he got away with it. And, we are now seeing it as Najib’s supporters demand a royal pardon for him.

The fear is he will get away with it too if his supporters have their way! Although Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob is a vice-president in Umno, in this case, he should not be swayed by party politics. He should think of restoring the good name of the nation already marred by the 1MDB scandal and act according to the rule of law and ensure that Najib, too, doesn’t get away with it!

Najib must first serve a portion of his sentence and complete all his court cases before he is considered for a royal pardon. If Sabri caves in to the demands of Najib’s supporters, he will be proving what all of Malaysia except his supporters knows — that Umno will use its privileged position for personal gain rather than national gain.

Hopefully, Sabri will make the right decision though it may be a difficult decision. It may cost him his premiership but it would make him look good in history for not letting a crook off the hook!

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