KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun today made it clear that he has no power to decide if convicted former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak can attend Parliament.
He said that fell under the purview of the prisons department as Azhar said he is not the custodian of Najib, who has been incarcerated in Kajang prison since August 23 when a five-judge panel at the Federal Court upheld his conviction, RM210 million fine and 12-year prison sentence for embezzling RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.
“All MPs have a right to attend Dewan Rakyat and they do not need my permission, that’s the general rule. So if Pekan wants to attend, it’s not under my jurisdiction or purview to say no or disallow or allow him in, these are not under my powers as Speaker.
“The question is whose custody is he under and that’s the Prisons Department. So if they want to let him out they must set the conditions, so again not under my powers,” Azhar told the Dewan Rakyat today.
Shah Alam MP Khalid Abd Samad then asked Azhar when Najib would be stripped of his status as Pekan MP.
Khalid said since Najib had failed in all his appeals and is already in jail, he should first be stripped of his status and only then can they await the outcome of his royal pardon.
Khalid said Dewan Rakyat should not be made to wait on his status just because he had a pardon pending.
Azhar, however, said that although that perhaps should be the way, the law did not permit it.
“The thing is the law is not always as it should be or ought to be. We can go on fighting about this till the cows come home but I still cannot do anything due to the law,” said Azhar as he proceeded to read the law which states until all pending outcomes of the petition for pardon are disposed of, the person remains as an MP.