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Throw out bid for Najib pardon, Amanah says

The Pakatan Harapan component says a pardon for the jailed former leader will send the wrong signal that the war against corruption is just 'empty words for political interests'.

Staff Writers
3 minute read
Former prime minister Najib Razak at the Kuala Lumpur court complex on April 17. Photo: Bernama
Former prime minister Najib Razak at the Kuala Lumpur court complex on April 17. Photo: Bernama

Pakatan Harapan component Amanah has broken its silence on efforts to obtain a royal pardon for jailed former leader Najib Razak, saying any application in this regard should be denied, amid expectations that the Pardons Board will convene to decide on the matter today. 

Amanah communications director Khalid Samad said a pardon for Najib would send a negative message to the people, the country's justice system and the entire world about Malaysia's attitude towards corruption and abuse of power. 

He said it would also damage the image of the Madani government brought by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. 

"It is often said that corruption and abuse of power have become a way of life in this country, so any efforts to raise up a Madani society and country must completely and definitively destroy the practitioners of these things," he said.

"Will giving a pardon to someone who has embarrassed the country on a global scale show a firm and uncompromising stand towards corruption? Surely not. 

"On the contrary, it will give the wrong signal that the war against corruption is just empty words for political interests, and that eventually everything will return to normal." 

Najib was convicted in 2020 of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power in relation to the misappropriation of RM42 million in SRC International funds.

He began serving a 12-year jail term in August last year after losing his final appeal. 

Last month, the Federal Court dismissed his application for a review of his conviction and sentence, dashing his last hope of legal recourse in the case. 

Umno subsequently began spearheading an attempt to obtain a royal pardon for the former president, who still wields significant influence within the party. 

Anwar, who came to power on the back of support from Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno, had acknowledged that he would be part of the Pardons Board tasked with deciding on the pardon for Najib. 

He said there would be no conflict of interest despite his involvement in the process, and that the award of honorifics and pardons was the prerogative of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. 

Khalid, in his statement today, said the decision would become an important milestone for the country.  

"It will show the extent to which the fight against corruption and abuse of power is taken seriously, and whether it is just a political slogan for elections," he added. 

He said Amanah acknowledged that pardons were the absolute right of the Agong. 

"However, there is no harm in Amanah giving its views on this issue.

"After 13 of the 14 judges who presided over Najib's case ruled that he was guilty, suddenly the country, through the Pardons Board, wants to give him a pardon?

"Does this not mean that there are groups who are immune to the law and even above the law?"

Adding that Najib was still facing a string of other charges in court, he asked if the former prime minister would be put behind bars again if found guilty of any of them. 

"Or will he be considered as having a special position, one that is immune from the law?" he said. 

"With all due respect and reverence, we from Amanah appeal to the king and the Pardons Board to reject the application for a pardon, and for Najib to continue serving his time in jail due to the obvious crimes he has committed." 

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