Skip to main content

Project Stability and Accountability for Malaysia (Projek SAMA) calls on all, especially the three
branches of government, to defend constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy,
which embody the principle that laws can only be made by elected legislatures and

That principle must be defended because a government’s power to rule is legitimate and lawful
only when it is based on the consent of the governed, expressed through elections.
If laws can be made by unelected institutions usurping the power of elected officials, then laws
are no longer the tools of the people. And such usurping of accountable government will plunge
the nation into crises of legitimacy and stability.

Claims have surfaced that there is an appendix to the pardons board decision concerning
corruption convict Najib Razak. Some claim that the appendix substitutes the judicial sentence
of incarceration in a state prison with “home detention.”

Regardless of the authenticity of the claims, our commitment to constitutional monarchy and
parliamentary democracy compels us to ask, “Has Parliament made any law which allows for
‘home detention’?”

Our checks show that Section 43 of the Prisons Act 1995 allows for the release of any prisoner
“on licence,” subject to “any regulation made by the minister”. And that to-date, no regulation
has been made to enable ‘home detention’.

Therefore, we conclude that such an appendix, even if it exists, and if it contains what it is
alleged to contain, contravenes the principle that laws can only be made by elected legislatures
and governments.

Effectively freeing Najib Razak in the name of home detention, would be an affront to the rule of
law. It would be a blatant demonstration of ‘double standards’ (dua darjat) of law enforcement.
Worst, it would be a subversion of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, a
subversion of the very foundation of the Malaysian state.

Projek SAMA calls upon the Government, the judiciary and Parliament to act constitutionally
and responsibly in this matter. Loyalty to King and country is about constitutional monarchy, not

Yesterday thirty-six years ago, the judiciary was undermined by a Prime Minister for his political
survival. The damage took a generation’s time to be undone and the judiciary is still recovering
until today. This time, Parliament’s exclusive power in law-making must not be undermined for
political expediency.

For the record, on March 2, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution revealed that the
government has agreed in principle to implement the licensed release of prisoners, through
home detention, for prisoners serving jail time of four years and below, as an effort to reduce
overcrowding in prisons.

Projek SAMA then questioned if this was meant to be a ‘get-out-of-jail’ card for Najib and called
for a white paper on the matter. Minister Saifuddin
dismissed this fear and categorically denied Najib’s eligibility under that initiative.

We remind Parliament and the government of the constitutional consequence of undermining
Parliament’s power in law-making. We repeat our call that they demonstrate their commitment
to constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. We call on them to jealously guard
their sole right to make any decision relating to home detention.

If constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy are compromised, there will be no
political stability and accountability. Without political stability and accountability, Malaysia can
forget about drawing in high-value foreign investments amidst the Sino-American rivalry.

Issued by:
Projek SAMA

2 May 2024

Leave a Reply