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Pardon’s Board not obliged to announce its decision on Najib’s appeal for pardon!

By P. Ramakrishnan

It is my considered opinion that the Federal Territory Pardon’s Board (FTPB) is not legally obliged to announce to the public its decision on Najib’s appeal for pardon. There is no law to compel it – this is a fact.

Nobody has clarified this legal position and therefore many speculations are floating around.

This is not the first time the FTPB has met. In the past after they had met they had not come out with a statement to announce their decision. So why should it be different this time?

The same thing goes for the various state Pardon’s Boards when they meet and consider the appeals of prisoners. We don’t read of their decisions in the media. Decisions are never announced.

What happens when appeals for pardon are submitted to the Pardon’s Board? The applicants are notified if their appeals were granted or denied.

In Najib’s case, he would have been informed of the outcome. One would think that his lawyers would also be in the know how by now.

Let me ask Najib this simple question and I hope that he will respond honestly, “Have you received a pardon?”

He is the right person who can either confirm or deny the question of his pardon. If he was pardoned, he would have been notified. If so, he would either be packing his stuff to go home or he would have already gone home!

Because Najib is a high-profile personage, so much interest is swirling around this case. If Malaysians are anxiously waiting to know the result, it is understandable. If an ordinary felon had applied for pardon, Malaysians wouldn’t be bothered if he was granted a pardon. But Najib is no ordinary felon, he is a notorious criminal who had been convicted – leaving no room for doubt!

One would think that if Najib’s appeal for pardon was rejected, by now it would have been world news. It would take a simple announcement for it to become hot international news!

On the other hand, we suspect, if he had received the expected pardon, it may be a little awkward to announce to the public. Is that the reason why there is such an inexplicable delay?

Time will tell!

First published at this link on 31 January 2024

(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)

P Ramakrishnan is the long-serving former president of Aliran who served for three and a half decades on its executive committee and has been with Aliran since its inception in 1977.

Now an ordinary Aliran member, he continues to highlight issues of public interest to a larger audience.

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