The decision of the Federal Court to preserve former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s conviction in the case relating to 1MDB has been hailed as a win for Malaysians in their fight against corruption by the country’s opposition leaders.
“This proves that the people have power, and they made the decision in 2018 to ensure an independent judiciary that (can) cleanse the country from corruption,” opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said in a video statement on Tuesday, welcoming the court’s decision. The statement was made in response to the court’s decision to remove former Prime Minister Najib Razak from office (Aug 23).
Mr. Anwar, who had already been imprisoned in the past for charges of sodomy and corruption in 1999 and again in 2015, was referring to the 2018 General Election, which was the first time in Malaysia’s history that the opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) came to power.
“The decision of the people had permitted a professional prosecution, as well as the boldness and strictness of the judiciary in making conclusions based on facts and law,” he said. “These decisions were not made according to the political direction of those in power, which we had experienced for decades.”
Mr. Anwar went on to say that there will be a shift in Malaysia’s political environment and climate when the general populace is able to make informed choices and when young people are able to chart their own course for the future.
Anthony Loke, the secretary-general of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), lauded the court’s decision to sustain Najib’s conviction as a triumph in the fight against corruption.
“This decision is a triumph for Malaysians who dared to make changes on 9 May 2018 (General Election) to bring down a corrupt and abusive Prime Minister,” Mr. Loke said in a statement on Tuesday. “This decision is a victory for Malaysians who dared to make changes on 9 May 2018 (General Election).”
Mr. Loke served as Malaysia’s Minister of Transportation under the People’s House administration, which was in power from May 2018 until February 2020.
He stated that it was impossible for the cases of corruption and embezzlement involving Najib to have been brought before a judge in the absence of this alteration.
According to Mr. Loke, the decision that was made on Tuesday was also a triumph for the democratic system that the country operates under. He also made a plea for the country’s theory on the separation of powers between the three main institutions of government to be upheld permanently.
According to what he had to say, “a court system that is fair and free from the influence of the government is the essential key to the country’s continued continuity and progress.”
He stated that the ruling of the federal court would also serve as a reminder to all parties who had been given trust not to abuse the power that was given to them for their own benefit.
Mr. Nizam Mahshar, the information chief for the newly formed Malay political coalition Gerakan Tanah Air, GTA, (Movement of the People), stated that it was evident that the court had successfully defended its authority without political meddling throughout the period of the Pakatan Harapan (PH), the Perikatan Nasional (PN), and the Barisan Nasional (BN) governments.
“Society should not forget that with political meddling, Najib who was Prime Minister then tried to stop the overdue process of justice through government institutions,” he said, adding that it was only due to the elections in May 2018 led by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad that they could see the results now. “Society should not forget that with political meddling, Najib who was Prime Minister then tried to stop the overdue process of justice through government institutions,” he said.
According to Mr. Nizam, the case involving Najib and the SRC is just one of the numerous instances of abuse of authority, breach of trust, and corruption that have not yet been uncovered, investigated, and judged.
“Today’s decision also proves that it’s evident that Malay political leadership should carry out a change in policy,” he said. “Today’s judgment also proves that it’s clear that a change in policy should be carried out.”
He went on to say that the GTA shared the hope that the verdicts of the federal court had restored people’s faith in their ability to continue working toward the improvement of Malaysia.
Following the ruling of the Federal Court against the former prime minister, the chairman of the opposition party, Muhyiddin Yassin, stated that he, along with other Malaysians who have been constant in their fight against corruption and the abuse of power, may now let out a sigh of relief.
In a statement on Facebook, Mr. Muhyiddin stated that the ruling demonstrates that the independent legal system in Malaysia has the ability to establish justice and restore the honor of the country.
He went on to say that as prime minister, he would fight for a judiciary that was free and independent of political influence.
After the People’s House administration was brought down, Mr. Muhyiddin led Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) to form a new government. During his tenure as prime minister, which lasted from March 2020 until August 2021, Bersatu was responsible for forming the government.
The United Malays National Organization, which is Najib’s political party, did not have a lot of responses to this news.
On the other hand, Ahmad Maslan, Member of Parliament for Pontian and Secretary-General of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), tweeted that Najib had reminded him to always remain with the “rakyat” (people).
On Twitter, the former deputy minister of finance also recalled that Najib had nominated Mr. Ahmad, the son of a rubber tapper, to the position of deputy minister, despite the fact that Najib was the son of a prime minister. He indicated that it was something that would not be overlooked.
“This matter will continue to be discussed, and the general public is also rendering its verdict. Mr. Ahmad tweeted his wish that Najib, together with his family, would maintain their composure.”