KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan MPs have welcomed the landmark decision by the High Court here to convict former prime minister Najib Razak of all seven charges of corruption relating to 1MDB subsidiary SRC International.
Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul said the verdict by judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali had proven that the matter, first brought up by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in 2011, was not slander, but fact.
“We have seen that what was hoped for by the rakyat has finally become reality,” he told reporters at Parliament this evening.
Klang MP Charles Santiago said the decision meant that the courts will not entertain the notion of “corporate capture”, referring to politicians cooperating with private businessmen to acquire wealth from the government.
“This is a major, major statement,” he said.
“It should be taken seriously by all individuals who are working with politicians to acquire wealth.”
Santiago said the verdict today was only possible because PH had won the general election in 2018.
“If PH didn’t win, this case would not have gone to court. This shows that the people’s
mandate, even though we are now the opposition, is slowly being realised. This is a victory for the people,” he said.
He added, however, that despite the verdict, there was still the appellate process which needed to take place.
“While we are excited about today’s decision, we don’t know what’s going to happen in the appeals court,” he said.
Jelutong MP RSN Rayer said Najib still had a constitutional right to appeal his conviction, when asked whether the Pekan MP will be suspended from the house.
“Pending the outcome of the appeal, he can still exercise his duties as an MP, including attending parliamentary sittings,” he said.
Warisan’s Liew Vui Keong said the court decision had proven party president Shafie Apdal’s claims about Najib’s corrupt practices while he was still a cabinet minister in 2016 were true.
“Shafie was fired from the cabinet when he criticised then prime minister Najib over the 1MDB issue,” Liew said.
Selayang MP William Leong, who was part of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) investigating the 1MDB scandal in 2016, said the verdict was a result of a “difficult journey”.
“During the crucial moment of investigations by the PAC in 2016, PAC members were transferred out and new people were appointed.
“It was not an easy journey for Malaysia to reach today’s verdict,” he said.