Najib pardon sets bad precedent, risks damaging Malaysia's image - G25

G25 demands Najib's early release be reconsidered

06 Feb 2024 08:42am
 G25 questions rationale behind Najib's pardon - FILE PIX
G25 questions rationale behind Najib's pardon - FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - The G25 group of prominent retired civil servants has called on the Federal Territories Pardons Board to rescind the decision to grant former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak a partial pardon.

The group expressed concerns about the potential impact on the country's image and credibility, both nationally and internationally.

"We also respectfully request that the Pardons Board provides the public with a written reason for such a decision or, at the very least, furnish the public with the written opinion of the Attorney-General to the Pardons Board pursuant to Article 42(9) of the Federal Constitution," it said in a statement.

The group also found it highly incredible that the Pardons Board had drastically reduced Najib's sentences.

"All the more so when Najib had not admitted his guilt, had not shown remorse, and had not made any restitution of the money that he had embezzled.

"We fear that the decision of the Pardons Board would create a bad precedent and it would result in the justice system in Malaysia being the subject of ridicule internationally," the statement further read.

The G25 also questioned the alleged involvement of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in expediting Najib's application.

The group cited a local media report quoting Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam where he reportedly thanked Anwar for Najib’s early hearing.

Related Articles:

"By fast-tracking Najib's application for pardon before the Pardons Board - whilst there are many other prisoners in the queue waiting for their pardon applications to be heard, isn't this being inconsistent with Article 8 of the Federal Constitution which provides for equality before the law?

"Shouldn't Najib wait for his turn to have his application heard before the Pardons Board, like everyone else?

"By virtue of Article 42 of the Federal Constitution, the power of pardon resides with His Majesty the King, as such, it is imperative that the power be exercised with dignity and wisdom.

"We, in G25, earnestly hope that what has happened will never recur in the future," the group said.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court originally sentenced Najib to 12 years in prison over the RM42 million SRC International corruption case.

He was also fined RM210 million.

His conviction and punishments were subsequently upheld in the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

The Pardons Board commuted his sentence when it met last week.

While the reduced sentence places his release date in August 2028, Najib could be released earlier on “good behaviour” in August 2026 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

The decision has faced criticism from various quarters, including government backbencher Ramkarpal Singh and civil society.

However, unity government leaders have called on all parties to respect the board's decision.