Sunday 14 Jul 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (May 15): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the King should be the one who decides if Anwar’s jailed predecessor Datuk Seri Najib Razak could serve his remaining sentence under house arrest.

“Whether Najib should be given house arrest, our position is — you go through the process and let the King decide,” he said during an interview with Bloomberg at the Qatar Economic Forum 2024.

The Malaysian Constitution provides for the King to decide on the matter and “as the prime minister, I should not precede the King," he said when asked about his personal stance on the matter.

Anwar also reiterated that Najib has the right to appeal for a pardon from the King, just like any other Malaysian citizen.

“I have advised the King that [he] must consider [this] as a process, as is the case of any other Malaysian citizen who appeals to the King,” he stressed. 

In the meantime, “I give all possible facilities, so that he is being treated fairly, or at least comfortably, because prison is not a bed of roses,” Anwar continued, “I am the authority of the subject.”

Anwar was twice jailed, and was sentenced to five years in prison for sodomy in 2015 but was released early, following a full royal pardon in 2018.

In August 2022, Najib was sentenced to 12 years in prison after being found guilty of seven graft charges involving RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.

However, in February 2024, his sentence was halved to six by the Federal Territories Pardons Board, and his RM210 million fine was reduced to RM50 million.

In April, Najib filed his application for a judicial review, seeking a mandamus to force the authorities to produce an addendum order purportedly issued by the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah — which would allow him to serve the remainder of his reduced jail sentence under house arrest.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi affirmed sighting an affidavit dated April 9, being the speculated addendum order for Najib’s jail sentence to be commuted to house arrest instead.

The High Court fixed June 5 on whether to grant leave to Najib’s application.

Edited ByJason Ng
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