Big-time robbers roam free while petty thieves are punished, says Dr Mahathir
DR Mahathir Mohamad has mocked Malaysia for being a liberal democratic nation that allows convicted criminals to walk free but punish small time offenders.
Aiming specifically at Najib Razak, the elder statesman once again questioned the delay of the courts in delivering their judgments on the former prime minister.
He also said that while those who had stolen millions were still free from imprisonment, others who had committed smaller thefts were immediately punished.
“Najib has been convicted (by the high court) for money laundering.
“The Court of Appeal is yet to deliver its decision. Six months have passed, still no decision,” the Langkawi MP said in a blog posting.
He said that in the meantime, Najib was free to attend Parliament sittings but had missed his court dates.
“And now the convict is allowed to travel to Singapore,” said Dr Mahathir, referring to Najib’s successful application in getting back his passport to travel to the neighbouring city-state to visit his pregnant daughter.
He said that Najib would surely appeal if the Court of Appeal decision were not in his favour.
“This will then take time, and the next general election will come… Najib will contest in GE15 as the Federal Court would not have ruled on his case.
“The people would be proud. You would be sentenced to jail immediately for stealing RM10 but can escape punishment for stealing millions.”
He said many other “thieves and corrupt persons” were still free to roam the world while their cases have been postponed or charges against them dropped.
“Once again, the world is impressed with Malaysia, an example of a liberal democratic nation where those who had won will end up as losers, and losers will become winners, and those who steal little would be jailed while the bigger robbers go free.
“Well done, Malaysia,” he said sarcastically.
This is not the first time Dr Mahathir had questioned the delay in punishing the Pekan MP for his conviction, and on how he was given back his passport to travel.
Najib yesterday responded by saying that he did not get any special treatment from the government as it were the courts that had allowed him to travel after hearing his applications.
He said the decision to release his passport was made unanimously by three high court judges and the Court of Appeal.
On July 28 last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court convicted the former prime minister of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power, involving RM42 million belonging to 1MDB subsidiary SRC International.
He was sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million.
Najib is currently appealing the conviction. He also faces trial in other criminal cases.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT