Najib Razak may not be counting the bars of his prison cell just yet but today, justice has prevailed.
The former Prime Minister has been convicted in the first verdict to come in a series of trials linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad financial scandal.
The conviction, where he was found guilty of all seven charges in the case involving 42 million ringgit of funds deposited in his personal accounts from a former unit of 1MDB, sends a strong message that leaders will be held accountable for wrongdoings in office.
We have waited almost 16 months to teach Najib and his arrogance a lesson: that he can’t steal people’s money and expect to walk free.
Najib is also the first Prime Minister to be convicted in a criminal court, tarring the image of the Razak lineage for good.
And also putting a permanent stop to swirling rumours that he may make a political comeback.
While I look forward to the sentencing, obviously I am also forced to contend with an appeal process that may take years.
But this verdict comes on the heels of Goldman Sachs being forced to agree on a $3.9 billion settlement, including $2.5 billion in cash, in return for all its charges being dropped.
Clearly, the dismantling of the 1MDB has started. And if anything, today’s ruling signals that all may not be well for Najib who faces dozens more corruption and money laundering charges.