Dato Harun was also convicted for a corruption case when he brought in Mohammad Ali to Malaysia for the boxing event again Joe Bugner. The fight was organised to raise fund for UMNO.
The King has the discretion to pardon irrespective what's the advice of the members of the panel and he alone decides. It is not a collective decision.
The King already said power to Pardon could not be exercised anyhow ( tidak sewenang wenangnya). This is the correct position of the law. The King still has to see the merits of the appeal and could not simply just throw the appeal away anyhow but has to exercise his power judiciously.
Anwar Ibrahim was also pardoned by the King. The King spoke to him wanting to pardon him when he was in prison. This was not disputed by anybody. Did the King hear views of the Pardon Board or was there a Pardon Board being set up to pardon Anwar?
The opinions expressed by retired AG Tan Sri Talib Othman is the correct position of the law and he was involved in the Pardon Board of Dato Mokhtar Hashim and also Dato Harun. He helped convicted both of them as prosecutor.
Why the King pardoned Dato Mokhtar because it was sure TS Talib could have advised the King of the evidence to convict Dato Mpkhtar.
What our analysis was that the trial of Dato Mokhtar had great impact against confidence of the police, the Attorney General Office, the Judiciary, foreign investment and the economy at that time. Malaysia at the time was facing very hard times.
The King can always defer the pardon. Dato Mokhtar Hashim was released from jail after ten years. A few days ago Sultan of Johore released a prisoner who had spent 40 years in prison.
Some legal opinions said Najib could not be convicted. The big boy Jho Lo had never been arrested to give evidence. Another bank officer and the bank governor was not called to give evidence..There are flaws in the evidence.
Under the federal constitution, the King is to protect his subjects especially the weak, the minorities and indigenous people but it is sad this had been twisted by politicians like us and by people who knows little about the power of the King and the constitution. They manoeuvred things according to their agenda. Little knowledge is dangerous and if we lack knowledge of a certain matter, it is better to keep quiet and listen to people who are more learned so that we don't help to mislead others.
The case against Najib unlike against Dato Mokhtar doesn't not entail him to be sentenced to death. He could only get jail terms. In law the harshest punishment is the death penalty and was passed against the most heinous crime against nation, King and people.
Is the case of Najib has any equivalent with crimes as heinous against nation, King and people? Definitely it is "NO" in Malaysia. For this reason he could only be sentenced to jail term and yet no whipping like many other crimes. Whipping is common in Muslim countries. Whipping is also practised in Malaysia although Malaysia is a secular country. Why we didn't oppose whipping in MALAYSIA although we know whipping is no more a norm in non Islamic countries and countries who practised democracy?
Voon Lee Shan
20 April 2023