KUALA LUMPUR: Only a few supporters of former prime minister Najib Razak were sighted at the High Court here today in his first public appearance since he was jailed on Tuesday.
Checks by FMT found that about 10 supporters turned up to show solidarity with the Pekan MP when he arrived for the continuation of his 1MDB corruption trial.
Retiree Radiah Rashid, 63, was one of those who were barred by the police from waiting outside the courtroom.
She said she felt angry that she was not allowed to be there to show support for her “beloved” former prime minister.
“I feel very upset (being told to leave) because the courts belong to the public,” she told FMT. “We were not even making noise or being disruptive. We’re only here to give moral support to Najib.”
She said she would “wait around” the courthouse until Najib made an appearance.
Another supporter from Pasir Mas, Kelantan, who only wished to be known as SBY, also said he was disappointed for not being able to sit in on the hearing.
The 53-year-old said that while Najib may be restricted in his movement, “his spirit is still alive and with us out here”.
He said he had been following Najib’s Federal Court appeal for over a week, and denied claims that supporters had been paid to show up.
“We came of our own free will to show gratitude to Najib for what he has done for us in the B40 income group,” he said.
Another supporter, who asked to be identified as Kak Lang, also said she was in court voluntarily to show support for Najib.
“We used our own money to be here, nobody is sponsoring us. We are sincere in showing our support for Najib,” said the 67-year-old housewife.
Police personnel had barred the public from waiting outside the courtroom since early this morning.
Najib is facing four charges of using his position as then prime minister to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds, and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.
He was taken to Kajang Prison on Tuesday after the Federal Court upheld his conviction and sentence of 12 years’ jail and a RM210 million fine in the SRC International case.