The Federal Court’s unanimous decision to uphold the sentence and conviction of former
Prime Minister Najib Razak for abuse of power, criminal breach of trust, and money
laundering is a phenomenal victory for the Malaysian Rakyat and a monumental expression
of justice for our nation. This judgement resoundingly reasserts the principle that no
individual is above the law, not even a former Prime Minister.
Today, C4 Center celebrates the strength and independence of the Malaysian judiciary and
the collective spirit of all Malaysians who persevered in the effort to bring to justice an
an individual who was, at one point, the most powerful man in the country.
It is of great note that Najib Razak was convicted and sentenced at the High Court, and this
decision was upheld by all presiding judges at both the Court of Appeal and the Federal
Court. There can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that our disgraced former Prime Minister is
guilty of the criminal charges brought against him.
C4 Center regrets that the long legal battle leading to today’s climax was marked by
numerous attempts to prolong proceedings, including multiple adjournment requests and the
constant turnover of Najib’s legal counsel.
Throughout this case, we have also been witness to several shocking attacks on the integrity
of our judiciary, with numerous external allegations of bias being cast upon presiding judges
– culminating in Najib’s legal team going so far as to make an application for Chief Justice
Tengku Maimun to recuse herself at the very last session of proceedings. These attempts at
undermining the legal system ultimately proved to be a delay of the inevitable.
It must be noted that despite the years of legal proceedings involved in this case, we may
only be at the tip of the iceberg in resolving the array of scandals involving Najib during his
time in power. Questions still remain regarding his alleged involvement in the Scorpene
scandal, the murder of Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa, and most recently, the LCS procurement
scandal where yet more billions of ringgit have gone missing.
However, today’s Federal Court decision is proof that the arduous tasks of whistleblowing,
investigation, due process, and standing up to injustice are not without return. For many
years, C4 Center, together with our organisational partners and members of the public, faced
numerous challenges in advocating for justice in this case. The sentencing of Najib Razak
has reaffirmed trust in the judicial process and has brought new optimism for a better
As we continue in our fight against corruption and abuse of power, we should take heed that
victory can only come with the collective effort of the rakyat. Today’s guilty verdict for the
former Prime Minister serves as a testament to the efforts of whistleblowers, media workers,
investigators, civil society organisations, public officials, and members of the public who
spoke up and exposed his crimes for all to see.
The fight against corruption and abuse of power continues, but it shall continue in the belief
that justice can and will be served. Today’s decision also serves as a striking message that
those who abuse their power for self-enrichment, manipulate public institutions to conceal
wrongdoing, and impoverish the Rakyat with their greed can never outrun justice.
To quote Martin Luther King Jr.: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4 Center)
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