Almost every news portal covered the acquittal of former Chief Minister, Tan Sri Musa Aman who was cleared of 46 corruption and money laundering charges with the prosecution making a sudden application to withdraw all charges.
This isn’t the first time a prominent public figure or their relative has been acquitted in Malaysia despite their crimes which if committed by a civilian would’ve constituted a significant jail time.
Situations like this have happened so many times that we wonder, is justice blind? Digging deeper into this problem, we found so many other Malaysians who escaped willy-nilly from crimes they’ve committed.
1. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
Suspicions towards the former Prime Minister first came into limelight after the murder of Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa which he was linked to.
The main suspect of the murder, Abdul Razak Baginda, was a former defence analyst from the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre and also a close friend of Najib Razak. On the 31st of October 2008, Abdul Razak Baginda was acquitted of his crimes.
After the 14th general election, former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and several groups including Altantuya’s father hoped for further investigation into the case. Till now, her family is still waiting for justice to be served.
You can argue that Najib’s link to Altantuya was never proven but the 1MDB scandal got everybody’s eyebrows raising. He was accused of channelling over RM2.67 billion from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a government-run strategic development company, to his personal bank account. Najib losing the 2018 election subsequently lead to him being charged with criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power.
In the latest shocking development of the case, Najib’s lawyer claimed he was a “victim of a scam” and the blame is now exclusively placed on the financier, Jho Low.
2. Nurul Hidayah @ Puteri Zahid Hamidi
This is a case that’s been discussed to death but it’s always worth a mention. A short summary of the case is where Hidayah and her husband violated the MCO for no reason and even bragged about it on Instagram. On the other hand, a single mother who went out to get a packet drink for her son, happen to have met a friend and was arrested for violating SOPs.
What the single-mom received? She was given a jail sentence of 30 days which was reduced to 8 days with an RM1,000 fine. Instead, what did Zahid Hamidi’s daughter get? A measly fine of just RM800 each.
Zahid Hamidi served as the former Deputy Prime Minister from 2015 to 2018. Here’s an interesting factoid for you, he has also been charged with 87 counts of money laundering and criminal breach of trust worth almost RM200 million.
3. Riza Aziz
If you’re wondering who he is, he’s the stepson of Datuk Seri Najib Razak who was charged with five counts of money laundering charges involving US$248mil (RM1.25bil) linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
He got discharged after both parties reached a mutual agreement. It was specified that an agreement was reached upon between the prosecution and accused where the terms were such that the Federal Government will receive a sum of several million ringgit.
4. Late Raja Nor Mahani (Raja Puan Besar Perak)
This case is something your parents might be familiar with. In October 2002, Hasleza Ishak, a 26-year-old model cum actress was found strangled and believed to have been thrown off a bridge. Her body was spotted nearby Taiping, at KM63 along Jalan Sumpitan late at night. She was the second wife to Datuk Seri Raja Jaafar Raja Muda Musa, the Raja DiHilir of Perak
The case is quite mysterious as the king’s first wife, Raja Nor Mahani, was accused of using witchcraft towards the model. In the end, five men including two bomohs were charged with the murder. Even though one of the bomohs, Mat Saad said that Raja Nor Mahani was the mastermind, she was not charged after simply denying the accusations.
5. Jho Low
Accused of being the mastermind behind the 1MDB, Jho Low is a businessman who’s currently an international fugitive sought by the authorities in Malaysia, Singapore, and the United States.
Using his wealth and influence, he has managed to evade authorities all this while. He has managed to travel freely despite the Malaysian police submitting an Interpol red alert, saying that these actions are politically motivated.
Jho Low maintained innocence throughout the scandal and even claimed that politicians are harassing him due to his links with Najib’s family.
One small comfort we can gain from this is that through the power of social media, most crimes don’t go unnoticed. Whether you’re the PM or a civilian, expect to be called out over your mistakes. The repercussions, however, depend on your bank balance.
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