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COMMENT | The official announcement of the halving of the jail sentence and fine reduction for convicted former prime minister Najib Razak for his first conviction related to the multi-billion 1MDB scandal shatters the trust in the Anwar Ibrahim-led government.

It is a lose-lose decision where almost no one wins, including Najib. The only winner in this decision is current Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

In this analysis of the impact of the decision, I argue that the damage goes well beyond individuals, as the partial pardon weakens political institutions and exposes governance weaknesses.

Rather than be a supposed ‘compromise’, the decision is corrosive to the fabric of Malaysian democracy.

An unsatisfactory deal

Yesterday’s decision was no surprise. For months – especially after the Anwar-led government granted a DNAA to Deputy Prime Minister Zahid for his scores of corruption charges last August – it was clear that something unpardonable was afoot.

The partial pardon decision showcases...

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