On 23 August, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was ordered to start serving his 12-year jail sentence for abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering of SRC International funds amounting to RM42 million. He was also fined RM210 million.
Later on 2 September, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was convicted of all 3 charges of seeking and receiving bribes in return for assisting in a government contract to supply energy to rural schools in Sarawak by High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.
While these court cases remind us that nobody is above the law, some have tried to whitewash the couple’s crime by painting Najib as a victim of politics.
So much so that Najib’s son, Mohd Nizar Najib compared his father to that of Nelson Mandela, the late South African leader who had been imprisoned for his fight against apartheid, and said Najib will rise above his challenges like Mandela did.
The statement by Nizar has since sparked a huge outrage among netizens who accused him of insulting Mandela by just comparing them both.
Among them were North-South Initiative executive director and co-founder Adrian Pereira who slammed Nizar’s use of Mandela in his comparison shows a lack of understanding of what Mandela fought for.
“To insinuate or make a comparison to Nelson Mandela shows that Nizar may not understand the anti-racism struggle of Mandela compared to Malaysian policies which are still race-based,” he was quoted as saying by The Star.
Pereira also suggested that if Nizar truly believed that his father (Najib) was a victim of the system, he should work towards changing the system from the inside through a fair election process.
“Nizar is welcome to join politics, become a policy maker and reform the system which he feels did injustice to his father,” Pereira said.
On Twitter, netizens shared similar sentiments and said Najib does not even come close to Mandela, instead, he was more like Ferdinand Marcos, the infamous former President of the Philippines who was heavily involved in corruption.
Mandela fought against apartheid. Mandela was incarcerated.— chermaine 🍉🇲🇾 (@suetmei) September 5, 2022
Najib perpetrated systemic and empowered structural racism. Najib was convicted for corruption and abused taxpayer’s money.
Do not compare the two, they are not the same. Do not insult Mandela’s cause and nobility. https://t.co/gmbHp2gHtd
“Which Mandela did this guy read about? Mandela only became President after serving 27 yrs in prison. Najib was the opposite. He was in power first, but got thrown in prison,” a netizen said.
“Najib Rosmah reminds the History of the Ferdinand Marcos. The history named them as ‘Kleptocrat’,” another netizen said.
“No la… your dad resembles Marcos. And your mom to Imelda Marcos. This equation is most logical if you want to compare ousted greedy politicians,” one commented.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!