The Legal and Political Implications of Najib’s Sentence Reduction


About the Webinar

In late January, former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak had his prison sentence reduced from 12 to 6 years, and his fine slashed from RM 210 to RM 50 million. Najib had initially been charged for a 1MDB-related case in 2018, then found guilty by the High Court in 2020. Following appeals at the Court of Appeal and then Federal Court, he was sentenced to prison in August 2022.

The sentence reduction, decided by Malaysia’s previous monarch Al-Sultan Abdullah in the last days of his reign, caused commotion among factions of the Anwar Ibrahim-led Unity Government. Members of Najib’s party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), had been pushing for an outright pardon, and members of Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan were clamouring for the original sentence to be upheld. Some analysts have argued that this decision could benefit the parliamentary opposition coalition, Perikatan Nasional, which has claimed the moral high ground in recent elections.

This event will analyse the legal and political ramifications of Najib’s sentence reduction. From the legal perspective it will analyse the role of various organizations and parties in the decision, then look at legal precedents and the status of other ongoing charges against the former prime minister. The political perspective will set out the interests of key stakeholders, implications of the specifics of the sentence reduction, the reaction of different segments of the public, and the outlook going forward.

About the Speakers

Mr Philip Koh has worked in the academic, private legal practice, public listed corporation and regulatory spaces. He is Adjunct Professor of Universiti Malaya and School of Business, Monash Malaysia University, and a regular contributor of Op-Ed columns in areas of public law and corporate governance.

Dr Azmi Hassan is a Geostrategist and Senior Fellow at Nusantara Academy of Strategic Research (NASR). He has implemented consulting projects in aerospace and public policy.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker during the Q&A session.


Mar 27 2024


10:00 am - 11:30 am

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