1. Najib says the decision with regard to the charge of money laundering against Reza Aziz is proper because money laundering is not a crime (here). Therefore, the settlement is not a “plea bargain”.
2. If it is not a crime then what is his discharge not amounting to an acquittal about – acquittal for what if money laundering is not a crime? Incidentally the same law includes Anti-terrorism Financing Act – which of course is not a crime. Call it by any name but the settlement is unique. A thief steals money and when arrested is charged with stealing or abusing power or retaining illegally acquired money and asked to give back some of the money. He then will be discharged though not acquitted.
3. Not being acquitted means he is still guilty as charged. That’s okay. All he has to do is to give back less than half of the money he has stolen. This means he will enjoy more than half of the money he had stolen and be a free man.
4. What do you call this generosity if it is not plea bargain? As Dato Seri Anwar said, in Malaysia you can steal ten chickens but if you give back one chicken then you are free to enjoy the nine others.
5. This is great for thieves. Maybe it is also great for certain lawyers. But we have to keep a close watch of our pockets and safes. And foreign tourists too should be careful. This is the new normal in Malaysia.