by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
THERE were mixed reactions throughout the day concerning former Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s (picture) trial yesterday.
Among supporters of the former PM, they started the day with high hopes that Najib would walk away scot-free but ended with tears when he was found guilty of all seven charges of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering in relation to RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.
Meanwhile, his non-supporters found the huge gathering of Najib supporters as offensive, especially with the rise of Covid-19 cases in the country, but later cheered for the victory over the High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali’s decisions.
However, the fiasco is not yet over as there are still the sentencing and settlements to be announced.
The Billion Dollar Whale co-author Tom Wright listed some unfinished businesses involving the former PM following this verdict.
“Unfinished businesses on 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd): Najib sentencing; another Najib trial for even larger corruption; Goldman Sachs Group Inc US settlement (this week?); Goldman Sachs US criminal charge; sentencing of former Goldman Sachs partner Leissner, who has pleaded guilty to stealing US$200 million (RM850 million); AND arrest of fugitive Low Taek Jho,” he tweeted on his account @TomWrightAsia.
When retweeting BBC News’ coverage on the trial, he wrote “Justice”, followed by “Lead counsel wants to push sentencing to August. Judge wants to get through it today.”
Former Pandan MP Mohd Rafizi Ramli, who these days rarely makes political comments, had something to say.
“But I did spend many years on the frontline dealing with 1MDB and SRC International scandals as an MP.
“I never expected much from those years, but I did feel that all the heartbreaks were well worth it today. Well done, Malaysia,” he tweeted with his @rafiziramli Twitter handle.
Similarly, former Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh said disillusioned voters should not feel like they have wasted theirs votesin 2018.
“Thank you, voters, former Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas and former Cabinet led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Only the wicked will tell you there is no point to go out and vote,” she said on Twitter in reaction to the verdict.
Damansara MP Tony Pua also shared an article by Vice, in which he commented that a guilty verdict would be the first step to ensure justice is done for Malaysians after the loss of billions of ringgit.
“It would have been a nightmare to watch if he were declared innocent.
“For Najib, it will be an immediate change from a position where he is ‘innocent until proven guilty’ to one where he has to mount appeals against the guilty verdict,” he said.
He added that although the former PM does not lose his MP seat, he can no longer contest in party or general elections (GEs) until the guilty verdict is overturned.
“Hence, if there is a snap election soon, Najib will have to sit it out and his influence will further dwindle,” he said, while also tweeting that the country has made history yesterday.
Closer to the court, a video of an elderly masked woman who had come to support the former PM had gone viral.
Unhappy with the verdict, she said the SRC International, which was a company established by 1MDB, was an orphanage which cares for children and single mothers.
Netizens questioned the woman’s understanding or knowledge of what is happening.
While many thought she was crazy, Malaysian Maverick blogger @maverick_97 raised another point.
“What you will never understand is Umno’s penetration into the Malay Heartland.
“Their loyalty isn’t bought by money, it’s bought by instilling the belief that only Umno can take care of you. PH (Pakatan Harapan) will never top that,” he wrote.