KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 — Imprisoned former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has filed a court challenge today in a bid to be allowed to attend Dewan Rakyat sittings in Parliament as the Pekan MP, his lawyer confirmed today.
Najib’s lawyer Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee confirmed to Malay Mail that his client’s application for judicial review was filed at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon at around 1pm.
“Effectively it seeks for two things: For Datuk Seri Najib to have access to his parliamentary officers in order for him to do his work as an MP; and for him to attend parliament on the scheduled dates,” he told Malay Mail when contacted.
Muhammad Farhan confirmed that the scheduled Dewan Rakyat dates which Najib was seeking to attend are the dates from October 3 to November 29.
The lawsuit which was filed via a judicial review application has named three respondents, namely the government of Malaysia, the home minister, and the commissioner-general of prison.
For lawsuits filed through the judicial review route, those who had filed the lawsuit must first obtain leave or permission from the court, before the actual lawsuit can be heard.
High Court judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md. Shahid is scheduled to hear Najib’s application for leave for judicial review on October 12.
In this lawsuit, Najib is seeking six main reliefs or court orders, including a certiorari order to quash or set aside the commissioner-general’s decision to not allow Najib access to his officers or aides for parliamentary, legislative and constituent work.
Najib is also seeking a declaration that he is “entitled to have reasonable access” to such officers for such work, as well as a mandamus order to the respondents to compel them to take all necessary steps to give him “reasonable access” to his officers for such purposes.
The remaining three court orders sought by Najib are for a certiorari order to quash or set aside the commissioner-general’s decision to not allow him to attend Parliament on the scheduled dates of Parliament sittings; and a declaration that he is “entitled” to attend Parliament on such dates; and a mandamus order to compel the respondents to take the necessary steps to allow his attendance of Parliament on such dates.
While Najib remains the MP for Pekan after the Federal Court upheld his conviction over the misappropriation of RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds, he has been serving his 12-year jail sentence as a prisoner since August 23. He is held in the Kajang Prison, but had also spent some days in the hospital previously before being discharged.
The full Dewan Rakyat schedule for the remaining meeting this year would be October 3 to 7, October 11 to 13, October 17 to 20, October 26 and 27, October 31 to November 3, November 7 to 10, November 14 to 17, November 21 to 24, and November 28 and 29.
This means there would be overlaps with Najib’s trial over the misappropriation of RM2.28 billion of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds.
Najib’s 1MDB trial before High Court judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah is currently scheduled to be heard on October 3 to 6, October 11 to 13, November 7 to 10, November 14 to 17, November 21 to 24, December 5 to 8, December 12 to 15, before continuing in January and February next year.
Najib’s lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had on Monday denied that the bid to have his client be allowed to attend Parliament is an attempt to delay the 1MDB trial.
Najib had on September 19 wrote to the Kajang Prison director-general to ask for access to his officers three times a week for parliament and constituent matters and to be allowed to attend Parliament under prison supervision to carry out his duties as MP.
In conveying the government’s and commissioner-general’s decision, the Kajang prison had in a September 28 letter informed Najib that his application had been rejected on security or safety reasons.
While Najib had filed an appeal to the home minister on September 30, the minister has yet to reply at the time the lawsuit was filed this afternoon.