Shafee denies breaching OSA by showing page from Najib’s pardon hearing

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah today insisted he did not breach any secrecy laws by displaying documents obtained from the Federal Territories Pardons Board’s meeting that decided the partial pardon for ex-prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He said he only displayed the cover letter from the document and not any of its contents, which he did not share as he did not have Najib’s express permission to do so at the time.

“That was the cover page and the declaration of the Agong with his seal and signature but no content. Following that, there are three pages of the content and I knew that I shouldn’t make the mistake of former attorney general Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi, because nowadays cameras are so good they can zoom in and read every damn thing,” Shafee said today during a forum titled “Justice and Mercy: A Forum on Reforms to the Pardons Board in Malaysia”.

When asked by the moderator, Malaysian Bar secretary Anand Raj, if he had a copy of the letter, Shafee conceded that the discussions of the Pardons Board, especially the opinion of the attorney general, were official secrets.

When pressed on whether he possessed the document, Shafee said that as Najib’s lawyer, he should be informed about the decision of the board.

“In my press statements I read out documents and did not guess, I had documents which must be served on my client. The most important person in the court of law or the pardons is my client not the Pardons Board.”

Shafee also clarified his remarks from the press conference, saying he did not mean to imply Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s intervention in the process.

Shafee previously asserted that the Agong at the time, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, had contemplated a full pardon but later chose a commuted sentence during the Pardons Board meeting he chaired on January 29.

However, it was also reported that members of the Pardons Board suggested the former prime minister should continue serving his sentence.

On February 2, the Pardons Board halved Najib’s sentence from a 12-year prison term to six years for misappropriating funds amounting to RM42 million, which means he may be released earlier, on August 23, 2028.