While the former
prime minister is well entitled to seek a royal pardon, it is the
Malaysian Bar’s view that he is not deserving of such clemency from the
Yang di-Pertuan Agong at this juncture.
reputation of our country had become synonymous with corruption ever
since the revelations of the 1MDB scandal broke out in 2015.
In the words of the Court of Appeal judgment, which has been used time and time again, the scandal has caused a “national embarrassment” to Malaysia.
is societal cancer that siphons off resources from their intended
purposes of benefitting the rakyat. Instead, these have gone to line the
pockets of those in the upper echelons of politics and society for
personal gain, stifling the growth and development of our country as a
Corruption also serves to truncate human rights as it
gives certain individuals an advantage over others and fundamentally
undermines the fairness of how institutions operate.
The Malaysian Bar notes that while there have been royal pardons of
public figures in the past, such as in the cases of opposition leader
Anwar Ibrahim, former minister Mokhtar Hashim, and former Selangor
menteri besar Harun Idris, all of them had served a substantial part of
their imprisonment sentence before they were released on account of a
In this case, the former prime minister has only
been in prison for less than a month and as such, he should first serve a
better portion of his sentence.
should never overlook the fact that the Federal Court’s decision on Aug
23 has restored the public’s faith in our judiciary and the rule of
Throughout the entire saga, it is pertinent to note that the
former prime minister has yet to demonstrate remorse for his actions.
the multiple occasions to portray himself as a victim throughout the
proceedings at the Federal Court, whether through challenges on legal
representation or seeking the recusal of the chief justice, the
Malaysian Bar takes the view that bestowing a royal pardon on him would
directly go against the Federal Court’s decision and provide a form of
Again, simply put, this would make a mockery of the conviction and sentence meted out by an independent judiciary.
is the Malaysian Bar’s position that a full pardon so early on would be
perceived as premature since the former prime minister is still facing
numerous charges of money laundering and criminal breaches of trust.
dangerous precedent would be set if a royal pardon is in fact granted
in this case as it will appear that those who held powerful executive
positions in the past and are still facing similar criminal charges
before the courts are above the law or beyond reproach.
of equality before the law and the non-discriminatory principle under
Article 8 of the Federal Constitution must be given its true meaning.
Malaysian Bar stands by the view that respect for the judiciary’s
decision must be accorded and the granting of a royal pardon to a
convict who has brought shame to our nation would only leave a
deleterious effect on our administration of justice, both domestically