KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bid for a royal pardon almost immediately after his SRC International conviction demonstrated a complete lack of remorse, said DAP leader Lim Kit Siang.
Lim also said the unprecedented speed of the application would undermine Malaysia’s judiciary by suggesting that the judges in his trial that included the Chief Justice had acted incorrectly.
“This is the first time in the nation’s history where a pardon petition is submitted immediately after conviction and carries the implication that the judiciary was wrong to put Najib in jail, an implication that the five judges in the Federal Court had failed the cause of justice in not allowing a postponement of the hearing,” he said in a statement.
Najib’s application would also put the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in an untenable position to interfere directly in a controversy that has already become a global corruption scandal, Lim argued.
He further said that applications for royal pardons usually had elements of regret, remorse or contrition for the offence committed, or after the convict serves a considerable portion of the sentence.
“Has Najib expressed any regret, remorse or contrition for the 1MDB scandal and for other acts of corruption when he was prime minister of Malaysia?
“Najib has four other corruption trials. Is he going to be pardoned every time he is convicted?” asked Lim.
According to the Prison Regulation 2000, a prisoner may, if he wishes, petition the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or the Ruler or Yang di-Pertua Negeri on his conviction or sentence, as soon as practicable after his conviction.
A second such petition shall be allowed when a prisoner has completed three years from the date of conviction, and thereafter such petitions shall be granted at two-year intervals, unless there are special circumstances, in which case the Officer-in-Charge may consider whether it should be brought to the notice of the King or the state Rulers or the Yang di-Pertua Negeri.
Today, Lim also questioned Najib’s son Mohd Nizar’s comparison of Najib to South African anti-apartheid leader and former president Nelson Mandela by saying that Najib “will rise above all challenges as Mandela did.”
“Is there some understanding that Najib will be pardoned? Had Mandela ever been charged in South Africa with not just corruption, but a global financial scandal?” Lim asked.
Earlier today, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun confirmed that Najib has applied for a royal pardon, and remains as the member of parliament for Pekan until a decision is made on the application.
Najib filed the petition for a royal pardon on September 2, which was well within the 14-day period from the day of the Federal Court’s dismissal of his appeal on August 23.
The ex-PM is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence, as the apex court has dismissed his final appeal in the RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd case.