Malaysia: Court Upholds Former PM's Graft Conviction

Photo: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • On Tues., Malaysia's five-member Federal Court panel unanimously dismissed former PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak's final appeal in a graft case connected to the multi-billion dollar 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fraud scandal.

  • This means that Najib - who was immediately transferred to Kajang Prison, near Kuala Lumpur to begin serving his 12-year sentence - is the country's first former PM to be jailed. He will also have to pay a $47M fine.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Although this verdict may not signal that corruption has come to an end in the country, Najib's conviction carries an invigorating message to the Malaysian people that nobody is above the law, not even a former Prime Minister.

Establishment-critical narrative

This decision was unfair as the court rejected Najib's application to change his legal counsel, denied his request for an extension of time to properly prepare his case, and threw out his call for a retrial. The judiciary seemingly wasn't neutral; a pardon should be considered.

Establishment split



More neutral establishment stance articles

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