How will Malaysia move from the case of Najib?

By Melissa Duis

For Malaysians all ears on the turn of events for Najib Razak’s case, the indelible day fell on a Thursday (18 August) when Malaysia’s Federal Court held the hearing on Najib Razak’s final appeal against the guilty verdict of his SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption case.

Then came Tuesday, Aug 23, when Najib’s appeal to overturn the 12-year jail term and RM210 million (US$46.9 million) fine or seven charges in the case involving funds from the former unit of 1Malaysia Development Bhd, was dismissed by the Federal Court which upheld the guilty verdict against Malaysia’s former prime minister in the SRC International case.

“These appeals are therefore unanimously dismissed and the conviction and sentence are affirmed,” Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat was quoted saying.

“Najib Razak is going to jail.” @amerhadiazmi was what Hadi Azmi, Malaysia’s correspondent for @SCMPAsia tweeted as he followed the case closely. His advantageous vantage point in court gave more intimate details still, a few moments later:

“Court is adjourned. Najib is still in the dock with his family.”

On the flip side, moments before gavel hit and sentence was read, these were the very words of Najib’s supporters as they awaited the ultimatum as this video shows.

Now that the nation remains both hopeful and wanting of justice, how will Malaysia move on from a time that is precedence setting and divisive? What does this say for our identity and unified aspiration for a better Malaysia? Only time will, and can tell. Meanwhile, some have welcomed the day, many the significance of such a judgement in the country’s race against rampant corruption, while some have also questioned and contested it but honestly, can there be smoke without fire?