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Be transparent if you want respect for pardons process, Zaid tells Anwar
Published on: Saturday, February 03, 2024
By: FMT, Anne Muhammad
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Be transparent if you want respect for pardons process, Zaid tells Anwar
Zaid Ibrahim said the prime minister should explain the unity government’s position on Najib Razak’s reduced sentence.
Kuala Lumpur: Transparency over Najib Razak’s reduced sentence and fine in his SRC International case is vital for the public to “respect the country’s pardons process”, says former law minister Zaid Ibrahim.

Zaid was commenting on Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s call yesterday for all parties to respect the pardons process, after Najib’s 12-year sentence was halved and his RM210 million fine reduced to RM50 million.

“The proceedings for pardons are confidential, (an) official secret. We don’t even know who else sits on the (Federal Territories) Pardons Board besides the federal territories minister and the attorney-general.

“The prime minister asked us to respect the process, but how are we to do that if we don’t even know what transpired,” he told reporters after the launching of a book here today.

The board is chaired by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The five members are the attorney-general, the federal territories minister and three others appointed by the King.

Zaid also urged Anwar to explain the unity government’s position on Najib’s reduced sentence.

In an interview with Al Jazeera released yesterday, Anwar said Najib was exercising his right as a citizen when he applied for a pardon against his conviction in the SRC International case.

“I think the process has to be respected, it’s beyond the prime minister or the government. I respect the decision of the then King,” he said. “Whatever one feels … they cannot ignore the fact that they must respect the right of everyone convicted to appeal to the Pardons Board.”

Anwar said Najib could still appeal to the new Yang di-Pertuan Agong at a later stage.

Najib was serving a 12-year sentence after being found guilty of seven corruption charges involving RM42 million in funds belonging to SRC International, a former 1MDB subsidiary.

Zaid said Najib should rightfully receive a full pardon. He believed that even those who wish to see Najib serve the full sentence are “unsettled” by the board’s decision.

“When the government wants to satisfy both parties, this is the problem. Returning to the principle of pardons, we need to follow what was requested.

“If Najib applied for a full pardon, the answer should be either a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. If Najib had asked for a reduction in his sentence, it is certainly possible, too,” he said.

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