By Aathi Shankar
The court application on Monday, November 4, 2019, by Attorney-General (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas to fetter former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s freedom of movement typifies an abusive regime.
The whole episode shows that the PH regime was ever prepared to abuse its power, misuse position and bend any rule to curb the liberty of its political rivals.
The application characterises a bunch of abusive executives who are willing to whip the law against their critics.
Najib had missed court hearing over his trial pertaining to 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) last Thursday, October 31, after suffering from swollen eyes.
He has a medical chit to prove that he was given a day medical leave by a qualified doctor.
The next day, Friday, Najib had gone to Tanjung Piai parliamentary constituency to join the Barisan Nasional team for an event in preparations for the nomination day for the forthcoming by-election.
The nomination was on Saturday, November 2.
It was reported that Pekan MP Najib had received an overwhelming response from Tanjung Piai constituents during the event.
This obviously had irked Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s Pakatan Harapan (PH) regime.
Hence, the court application.
In the application, lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram claimed that Najib had abused his medical chit by attending a BN event on Thursday when the former premier did not.
Lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah countered by producing several documented evidence to prove Najib went to Tanjung Piai only on Friday when there was no court hearing after his medical leave had lapsed.
The learned Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah found no reason to take any action against Najib after he understood what actually transpired.
But he gave a general warning, not specifically to Najib, that he would not tolerate any attempt by anyone to mislead the court.
Najib, 66, currently faces 25 corruption charges – 4 charges of abusing his power to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion in the 1MDB fund and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.
The Pekan MP has been alleged to have committed the 4 charges of gaining gratifications at the AmIslamic Bank Berhad Branch, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Ceylon in Kuala Lumpur between Feb 24,2011 and Dec 19,2014, and the 21 charges of money laundering between March 22,2013 and Aug 30,2013, at the same bank.
Gopal Sri Ram claimed there was a public outcry when there was none.
The only outcry was from PH regime via its political appointee Tommy Thomas, who is learnt was in Japan watching the Rugby World Cup 2019.
In the application, the PH regime wanted to restrict Najib’s movement within Kuala Lumpur only and forced the former premier to report to the nearest police station every Saturday.
“He (Tommy Thomas) is sitting comfortably in Tokyo watching the Rugby World Cup Final without knowing what is actually going on here,” argued Shafee correctly.
“The doctor who gave the MC complied with the medical act… my client was not fit to attend court and he got the MC. Moreover, there was no reason for him to skip just one and a half hours which had been allocated last Thursday.”
Human Rights Defenders
The rights group, Benar leader Hasnah Abdul Rahman expressed her disgust on the motion by the prosecution to curb the former premier’s freedom of movement.
“What more do they want? They have his passport, his bank accounts frozen, his homes raided, his personal belongings seized, his family harassed, and at one point restricting him to make posts on social media.”
The Benar leader said she cannot fathom how a learned Gopal Sri Ram can even think about calling for sanctions against the liberty of a defendant in an ongoing court case.
“The fact that the instructions came from the Attorney General makes it even more baffling as this is against any form of decency, not to mention human rights,” said Hasnah.
What is more appalling and baffling is that the so-called defenders of human rights have been so tongue-tied on the current regime’s abuse of power and violations of human rights.
The self-proclaimed human rights defenders, such as Bersih, Lawyers for Liberty, Bar Council, Aliran, Marina Mahathir, S. Ambiga and Siti Kassim, were all over the country screaming against the BN federal government even over petty issues before the 14th General Election (GE14).
But now their silence is deafening.
The cat had caught their tongues?
“Where are the Bar Council, the Bersih, the Siti Kassims, the Marina Mahathirs?” asked Hasnah.
“Has humanity flown out of the window with Malaysia Baru? Or humanity only applies to their favoured people? Double standards much. Oh wait, its Najib, so he doesn’t deserve any consideration, no common decency should be granted to him. Because, well, he has already been judged guilty by the court of PH and social media.”
PH’s move to trammel Najib characterises a vengeful regime.