A Penang PKR Youth leader has joined the chorus of those questioning the pardon bid for jailed former prime minister Najib Razak, saying many others convicted of wrongdoing are serving sentences for lesser crimes without any chance of pardon.
Amir Syamimi Hashim, PKR's Bukit Bendera Youth chief, said such individuals often committed offences such as theft out of desperation, took drugs or committed other minor offences.
"Despite their circumstances, they are forced to serve out their sentences, while individuals like Najib seek special treatment," he said.
"We definitely do not condone criminal activities or corruption. However, we must ensure that all individuals are treated equally and fairly under the law.
"We cannot allow political intervention or special treatment to undermine the rule of law and the principles of justice and fairness."
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.
In March, 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.
The efforts sparked a heated debate, with Amanah leader Khalid Samad saying last week that 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.
His remarks were met with anger by Umno leaders including Supreme Council member Puad Zarkashi who labelled Amanah as an untrustworthy friend in the current government.
Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub subsequently apologised on behalf of the party while Khalid himself said he had apologised as well.
Youth-based party Muda however said later that any application for a royal pardon for Najib should be rejected.
In his statement today, Amir said justice should be applied equally and fairly to all, regardless of social status, political affiliation or race.
"We must reject any attempt to use political pressure to influence the outcome of criminal cases, and instead we must rely on the rule of law and the principles of morality and ethics to guide our decisions."