Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said that “convicts” should not be invited to the palace, a day after an opposition MP questioned the move to welcome former prime minister Najib Razak at several recent events.
“My feeling is that a convict should not be invited to the palace,” he said at a press conference in Putrajaya.
“It’s not right, and it’s not nice because it shows as if the convict has got some support from the palace.”
Najib, the Pekan MP, was convicted by the High Court in July 2020 of seven charges related to the misappropriation of RM42 million in SRC International funds.
He was sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million in a judgment upheld by the Court of Appeal in December last year. He is currently appealing his case at the Federal Court.
He was invited to an Aidilfitri event at Istana Abdulaziz in Kuantan, Pahang, on May 4, and also attended a breaking of fast event with the king, members of the Cabinet and foreign diplomats at Istana Negara on April 18.
Commenting on Najib’s presence at these events, PKR’s Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim said yesterday that there appeared to be a failure by those tasked with advising the palace in discharging their duties.
“The government and the state have provided the Yang di-Pertuan Agong with various palace advisers and assistants. These palace officials carry great titles such as Datuk Bijaya Diraja, Datuk Bentara Diraja and others.
“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong also has access to the attorney-general who acts as a lawyer for the government. Is there no one who dares to come forward to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong not to invite former prime minister Najib Razak (a corruption offender) to Istana Negara?” Hassan wrote on his Facebook page.