KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, has explained that the former prime minister is undergoing his PhD studies while in prison.
Asked in the Keluar Sekejap podcast about how Najib can access his studying materials, the lawyer said Najib’s assistant would bring him the necessary materials but they would be subject to assessment by prison authorities.
“The assistant brought materials with him including books to read. However, the books will be filtered and he cannot just accept them.
“It makes me happy that he is doing something. It shows that the mind is not idle,” he told the podcast hosted by former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin and former Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan.
Shafee also asserted that Najib is serving his sentence in prison, amid speculations by the public due to several social media posts on his accounts despite being deprived of internet access.
“He is at the prison, a regular one but due to safety concerns, he is isolated from others.
“If he is with others, anything can happen,” he said.
In March, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail confirmed that Najib has not been allowed any access to gadgets while imprisoned, and he has signed up for post-graduate studies while serving his 12-year jail term over the misappropriation of SRC International Sdn Bhd’s RM42 million.
Saifuddin confirmed that Najib is not allowed to use a laptop or access the internet while in Kajang Prison, but suggested that it was still possible for him to post social media posts through his social media team doing so on his behalf as long as they can access his social media accounts.
The minister also explained that there are prisoners who obtain a Master’s degree or even complete their PhD studies by the time they finish serving their jail term at Kajang Prison.
Najib, who was prime minister from 2009 to 2018, is currently serving 12 years in prison after being convicted of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust.
In August last year, he was the first prime minister in Malaysian history to be handed a jail sentence, after he failed his final appeal against being found guilty of embezzling RM42 million in funds belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.