As power shifts and AG quits, Najib vows to fight on in court

Najib Razak wants his day in court, and pleads for fair reporting of his court trials.

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak said the resignation of Attorney-General Tommy Thomas amid expectations of a power shift in Putrajaya will not affect him, saying he wants his day in court to fight the multiple charges of corruption and power abuse stacked against him.

Najib told FMT that he would not want the charges against him to be dropped as was the case with Lim Guan Eng, whose corruption charge linked to the purchase of a bungalow in Penang was dropped in the aftermath of Pakatan Harapan’s general election victory in 2018.

“I am not Lim Guan Eng,” he said, referring to the former finance minister.

Lim was the Penang chief minister when he and businesswoman Phang Li Khoon were charged with corruption in 2016. He was accused of abusing his position in approving a land deal as well as purchasing a bungalow at below-market price from Phang.

Najib, who resigned as the Umno president after the party’s fall from power, said he hopes to get a fair trial as well as an assurance that there would be no political interference.

“I am also hoping that my trials will be covered fairly in the media with unbiased headlines and reporting,” the former leader said.

Najib is facing 42 charges of corruption and abuse of power over transactions involving billions of dollars linked to 1MDB and SRC International.

His comments come as his former deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, whom he sacked at the height of the 1MDB saga in 2015, looks set to win majority support to form a new coalition government.

Earlier this week, the resignation of Dr Mahathir Mohamad caused the break-up of the Pakatan Harapan coalition, after several MPs broke ranks to seek new allies.

Today, after days of political vacuum in Putrajaya, political parties declared their support for Muhyiddin.

Apart from his own party, the Umno-dominated Barisan Nasional and PAS confirmed their support for Muhyiddin. Sarawak’s ruling coalition GPS and Sabah’s Warisan are also widely expected to name Muhyiddin for prime minister.

Najib, meanwhile, said he was ready to fight his court battle “to prove that what I did was always with the best interests of the country in mind”.

He said a statement by Mahathir recently had proven him right on the state of the country’s finances.

“Mahathir said we have RM2 trillion in savings. Of this, RM1.2 trillion was built during my tenure.”

In announcing the RM20 billion Covid-19 economic stimulus package yesterday, Mahathir said Malaysia had some RM2 trillion in institutional funds.