KUALA LUMPUR: More than 2,000 Umno members gathered outside the National Mosque to call for former party president Najib Razak to be granted a royal pardon.
The protesters were clad in white t-shirts bearing the slogan “Pulangkan Najib” and were heard chanting the slogan in support of the former prime minister.
Umno Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh told reporters the group included members from the party’s youth wing and their student movement. He said they were among the “many Malaysians who want Najib to be pardoned”.
“Justice for Najib was denied after his change of lawyers and he was not given time by the Federal Court to submit his appeal.
“How could others get (to submit their appeals) but Najib was not allowed to do so?” he asked during the rally.
Also present at the rally to offer his support was Najib’s son, Nazifuddin.
Akmal added that a petition calling for Najib’s pardon had so far received over one million signatures.
“We are waiting for a date from Istana Negara to submit the petition, so that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can consider it based on his wisdom,” he said.
About 15 minutes into the rally, the police arrived to stop the protesters from proceeding but the event resumed shortly after. The gathering, however, ended quickly as per instructions from the police.
On July 28, 2020, Najib was convicted by Justice Nazlan Ghazali, then a High Court judge, for abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust (CBT) in the SRC International case, involving funds amounting to RM42 million.
His appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed on Dec 8, 2021.
Najib began his 12-year prison term on Aug 23, 2022, immediately following the Federal Court’s dismissal of his final appeal.
On March 23, the apex court refused the former prime minister’s application for leave to have its decision in the appeal reviewed.
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