PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Bar says Najib Razak does not deserve a royal pardon at this juncture, even though the former prime minister is entitled to seek clemency.
Its president Karen Cheah said while the likes of PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, former Selangor menteri bear Harun Idris and former minister Mokhtar Hashim were given a royal pardon in the past, the trio had served a substantial part of their jail sentence, which made it proper for them to be pardoned and released.
“In this case, the former prime minister has only been in prison for less than a month and as such, he should first serve a better portion of his sentence,” she said in a statement tonight.
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.
Harun was convicted for corruption in the late 1970s, while Mokhtar – the former culture, youth and sports minister – was convicted for the murder of Mohamad Taha Talib, the then speaker of the Negeri Sembilan legislative assembly.
Cheah also said that a full pardon at this stage would be perceived as premature as Najib was still facing numerous charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust.
“A dangerous precedent would be set if a royal pardon is in fact granted in this case, as it will appear that those who held powerful executive positions in the past and are facing similar criminal charges before the courts are above the law or beyond reproach.”
Najib filed a petition on Sept 2 seeking a royal pardon for his conviction in the SRC International case.
He was sent to prison on Aug 23 after the Federal Court upheld his conviction and sentence of 12 years’ jail and a RM210 million fine in the SRC case.