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LETTER | Najib’s commuted sentence: People deserve answers

LETTER | Patriot is gravely concerned over the escalating concerns registered by many organisations, NGOs and individuals including noted personalities as well as local and foreign media over the recent development involving convicted criminal, Najib Abdul Razak.

The social media outpourings, news reports and statements coming from within and outside the government corridors cannot be sidestepped.

The Pardons Board's decision to grant the jailed former prime minister a “50 percent discount” on time behind bars, plus a 75 percent discount on fines imposed by the court is not readily accepted by all segments of society.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim had publicly clarified that he had no hand in the Pardons Board's decision, despite a minister stating that the outcome was a "collective decision".

Anwar also appealed and warned not to question the decision of the board although legal eagles have attempted to educate masses on the validity of the pardon process and legality of the action taken.

However, the public refusal to welcome the grace showered on Najib is a serious concern that demands quick resolve in the best interest of peace and unity.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim

As for Patriot, we feel deeply betrayed by this controversial issue, which cannot be threatened and quietened by issuing orders or preaching from the top.

To date, the attempts taken to defend the Pardons Board's decision have only added to the confusion that can truly undermine peace and unity in the country.

Patriot will not mince or sugar-coat its opinion in the wake of this serious concern that is brewing and threatening to snowball into a national problem.

Any attempts to not redress the unhappiness will only further confuse the public and lower their belief in the seriousness of the government's fight against corruption and in its efforts to champion equality and fairness for all citizens.

It is disheartening to note that although we have clearly defined laws and well-placed procedures, we have, however, strayed from this clear and straight path for reasons that may only be known to some quarters for now.

Therefore, we urge the government to address the growing, strong voices and protests by almost every sector of the citizenry.

Leaders and decision-makers cannot bury their heads in the sand or pass the buck as peace and unity in the country can eventually be pawned if no remedies are provided to quell and appease the loud, clear and spreading unhappiness and the many legitimate calls for enlightenment on the controversy.

Patriot too demands a straightforward statement from the Pardons Board to explain the reasons for the controversial decision.

Writer is the president of Patriot.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.