PETALING JAYA: It would be extremely difficult for Najib Razak to challenge his sentence, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said, citing his own experiences in overturning his graft and sodomy conviction.
The former prime minister, however, could seek clemency from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Anwar said in an interview with CNBC.
However, given the financial impact of the 1MDB scandal, Najib would likely face difficulties, the PKR president said.
Yesterday, the Federal Court affirmed Najib’s conviction and sentence in the SRC International case, with the Pekan MP later sent to Kajang prison following the apex court’s decision.
The decision meant that Najib became the first former prime minister in the history of the country to be imprisoned.
Anwar believed Najib would have better living conditions in prison than he himself did in the early 2000s, when he was denied books and family visits during his incarceration.
“From what I understand from my old ‘colleagues’ (who are) prison officers, he will be given somewhat better treatment, he will be accorded some facilities,” he said.
“But still, prison is not a bed of roses. It is tough, particularly compared to (Najib’s) lifestyle of seven-star hotels. He will have a tough experience,” Anwar added.
Earlier today, the prisons department rubbished rumours that Najib would receive special treatment at Kajang prison, following claims of VIP treatment on social media.
In April 1999, Anwar was sentenced to six years in prison on charges of corruption while in August 2000, he was handed a nine-year jail term for sodomy.
In 2004, he was released after his conviction was overturned. However, he was jailed again in 2014 for sodomy before receiving a royal pardon. He was released in 2018.