Najib should go to jail, says Tok MatAMY EZREEN
SHAH ALAM – Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should accept full responsibility for the 1MDB scandal, according to Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
If his final Federal Court appeal is denied, the former prime minister should also serve his term, he added.
Mohamad Hasan or commonly known as Tok Mat further told in an exclusive interview with Asia Times that Malaysia was a “struggling” country led by a “backdoor” government.
"That’s why we need an early election,” said Tok Mat.
“Not so much because we want to be in power. We want to give the mandate back to the people. We have to put things right. This is a blessed country. But for the last four years, we have regressed ourselves. We are struggling," he was further quoted as saying.
He referred to the defeat of Barisan Nasional (BN) in the 2018 general election due to failure to “tell the truth” about the 1MDB financial scandal, adding that Najib should not expect special treatment from an Umno-led government if he is eventually jailed on a slew of graft charges.
"We did not realise it was a fire that would spread far and wide. The public now has more access to information, so you can’t hide and conceal it all, so we have to address these issues or the country will continue to decline because of the 1MDB case.” said Tok Mat.
When questioned, Tok Mat said that the remarks were made in relation to the idea of asking for the former leader's pardon.
"Najib must receive a fair trial, I'm saying. If proved to be incorrect, it must be fairly assessed. The pardon procedure often occurs after the sentence is served," he said.
Najib was found guilty in July 2020 of violating the public trust, abusing his position of authority, and money laundering in connection with the theft of RM42 million from SRC International.
He was thus given a 12-year prison term and a RM 210 million fine. In December of last year, the sentence was upheld by three Court of Appeal justices.
The transfer of RM42 million from SRC International was deemed "disgraceful to the country" by the court, which rejected Najib's appeal.
Judge Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil declared that the transfer of RM42 million to Najib's account had no purpose other than to bring shame upon the nation.
Najib is currently pursuing an appeal in front of the Federal Court.
Tok Mat further said Najib shouldn't anticipate special treatment if he is to be put in prison.
"Everyone must acknowledge the results of their actions. But Najib must go through that procedure if we wish to award amnesty. He must first go to (jail)," he reportedly said.
"You cannot pardon him before the procedure is completed. That is just incorrect.
Regarding the 1MDB affair, Tok Mat claimed that the contract was made "without adhering to financial checks and balances" and "by one person: the prime minister."
“Additionally, he is the finance minister. He is also in charge of 1MDB. That is how the issue began," said Tok Mat.
Najib was still regarded as a popular figure, Tok Mat said, who attributed this to the idea that he was a target of "selective prosecution."
"Whether Najib is in the right or wrong, people are aware of what he is doing. People are informed, and so do I. We know what happened from what we read," he added.