Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: Appellate judges fail to 'rise' to the occasion

Yoursay  |  Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY | Is the court is saying the AG's decision cannot be disputed?

Court verdict - 'Sun rises in the east' and Najib did no wrong in 1MDB

Kim Quek: Congratulations, Justice Yaacob Md Sam. You have earned yourself a place in history, and perhaps world fame overnight, for your mind-blowing judgment that PM Najib Razak’s innocence over the 1MDB infamy is as certain as “the sun rises from the east.”

For, who else in the world would have the courage to utter those words that sound like divine truth, when goring details of the 1MDB financial crimes have been nakedly exposed by many jurisdictions around the globe?

Particularly in US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) suits to seize the stolen 1MDB assets, whereby the minutest criminal details with Najib as a central figure have been meticulously narrated through its hundreds of pages of court documents.

The severity of such crimes - labelled the largest kleptocracy case and the worst of its kinds by the US government - have already been compounded by the impotence of its authorities to act against it.

Now with this astounding judgment from a Malaysian Court of Appeal, the BN government’s reputation as the world’s leading kleptocracy looks set to be further enhanced.

Gerard Lourdesamy: Go read and understand section 57 of the Evidence Act before making injudicious remarks. It does not apply to disputed issues of fact and it does not apply to the alleged exoneration of Najib by the attorney-general (AG), which was limited to SRC International and not 1MDB.

What about the DOJ report, the civil suit in the US, the investigations in Switzerland, Singapore and Luxembourg and the sealing of the Auditor General's Report on 1MDB? Why didn't the court take judicial notice of that?

How can the merits of a claim be determined on an injunction application? The decision not to prosecute a sitting PM under Article 145 of the Constitution is not reviewable by the courts, but this is a policy decision of the AG and not necessarily a confirmation of the innocence of Najib.

Anonymous 2460391489930458: So the court is saying the AG's decision cannot be disputed as a matter of law. For the appellate judges, the "fact" that the AG had made that decision (that Najib did no wrong with regards to the 1MDB issue) was all that mattered.

This kind of reasoning is completely irrational but it appears the court is least bothered about being irrational so long Najib is safe and sound.

Going by that logic, if the AG decides a particular judge is an idiot, the said judge must accept that he really must be an idiot as a matter of law since the AG's decision cannot be disputed. And since the AG calls the judge an idiot in full view of everyone, the "fact" is therefore established.

What type of justice is being dispensed?

Anonymous #44199885: Yes, this is madness. While the court can certainly take notice of the fact that the AG made a statement that the PM committed no wrong with regards to 1MDB, it by no means follows that that statement continues to be true in the light of the evidence demonstrated by the DOJ and FBI confirming what was reported by Sarawak Report and The Wall Street Journal.

Surely the statement issued by the AG must be examined based on the evidence that the AG has based his statement on. Taking notice of a fact and making a ruling that that fact is the truth is completely different. The latter is in the province of the court and the words of the AG cannot be final.

If such were the case, then any person charged in court must be deemed guilty and should not be allowed to proffer a defence as the court takes notice that the fact of the charge means he committed the crime.

By equating fact with truth, the Court of Appeal removed all the defences available to Tony Pua, which would have necessitated an examination of the facts from the Petaling Jaya Utara MP.

Demi Rakyat: You mean the Court of Appeal judges believe that the billions of ringgit found in Najib's personal and private account were really donations from some Saudi royalty? Amazing! Especially when the whole world knows that this was a lie.

Oxymoronictendencies: Justice Yaacob and his colleagues clearly have a “selective” view of issues. And choose to believe some “opinions” as facts and to ignore the facts that fail to support the “opinions”.

They are basically saying that the DOJ, the Singapore courts and the Swiss AG are all wrong and only AG Mohamed Apandi Ali’s “decision not to prosecute” is right.

As I recall, there was some certain suggestion of surprise and concern from MACC that Apandi had decided not to prosecute Najib. I guess the only takeaway from this judgment is that the judiciary is confirmed as no longer being “independent”.

Vijay47: Learned judges of the Court of Appeal, did your jurisprudent gentlemanly elegance perhaps stumble over the AG's findings regarding that national shame 1MDB?

I must fully concur, with a caveat, that “such a decision by the AG is within the framework of our Federal Constitution i.e. Article 145, is final” despite your own earlier words that “such findings were therefore notorious”.

Is it consequently not incumbent of the penultimate court in the country to hold that not only must the AG make a finding but also that such finding be founded upon merit and substance?

Otherwise, it would appear that any finding by the AG, however notorious it be, must be accepted by the court by dint of having been made by the AG.

It would also seem that following your explanation, a mere press statement issued by the AG lends unshakable veracity to his finding. How would you rule if the versatile AG delves into astronomy and finds that the moon sets in the northeast? As sheer lunacy?

HaveAGreatDay: I hope some legal eagle will give us the benefit of his/her wisdom with respect to this notion in the ruling - "Taking judicial notice that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak did not commit any wrongdoing with regard to 1MDB”. That it is akin to "if a matter is considered as a fact, for example, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west”.

MO1 (Malaysian Official 1) has been cleared by his appointee, the AG, but the scandal that is 1MDB is subject to court cases in Singapore and the DOJ filings. To me, a layman, MO1 is as guilty of wrongdoings in the 1MDB saga as if the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

Ipohcrite: If the verdict in this case is considered just, then justice is obviously blind. The AG has no business clearing anyone, including Najib; the AG's job is to prosecute, not act as the PM's personal lawyer.

By the way, the AG owes his appointment to the PM, who himself appointed the AG after the former AG was mysteriously retired due to ill health but who remains healthy as ever pursuing his own private practice to this day.

Apandi, as the AG, has even denied cooperation to overseas prosecutors who see fit to continue investigating the 1MDB case and over the course of their investigations, several individuals have been fined and jailed.

It is glaringly obvious that the public is being denied the truth in this sordid 1MDB affair because the Auditor-General's Report has been classified as official secrets. How this judgment came about is not borne out by the facts of this case.

Clever Voter: In the land where anything is possible, it’s just awesome how the law creator, enforcer and interpreter can all be the same person.

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These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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