Question marks over letterhead in Najib pardon announcement

"Wrong" emblem raises doubts in Najib pardon announcement

06 Feb 2024 03:54pm
Najib Razak - FILE PIX
Najib Razak - FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - A lawyer has cast doubt on the legitimacy of the letterhead used to announce former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's partial pardon, sparking questions about proper procedures and transparency.

Lawyer and human rights advocate Charles Hector identified that the announcement utilised the Prime Minister's Department logo instead of the customary emblem of the Istana Negara.

Further concerns arose regarding the lack of information identifying the individual who issued the statement on behalf of the Pardons Board.

"Compare with the media statement issued by the Istana (Palace) when Anwar was pardoned. I believe that this is not fake (If, it is, please inform me).

"Anyway, rightfully it should be King or the palace that issues a media my opinion.

"It is just a media statement about the Pardon - but interestingly, there is no name of the person that issued the Media Statement on behalf of the Pardons Board.

"Is there even a urusetia (or Secretariat) for the Pardons Board.

"The Pardons Board is definitely not under the Prime Minister or a Department under the Prime Minister.

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"It is and/or ought to be independent of the Prime Minister or the Executive arm of government," Charles stressed in his blog, highlighting the importance of clear identification and adherence to protocol.

Charles remarks came after former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said that the Agong should not be held responsible for consenting to Najib’s reduced sentence (from 12 years to six years) and significant reduction in fine (from RM210 million to RM50 million) instead of granting a full pardon.

Latheefa, also a lawyer and human rights activist, made these comments in response to Anwar’s call for all parties to respect the Pardons Board’s decision to commute Najib's sentence.

She further described the decision to reduce Najib's sentence and fine as a 'bitter blow,' especially for those involved in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) investigation.