DAP gags members from commenting on Tony Pua, Najib pardon - Party insider

DAP caught in a political tug-of-war

16 Feb 2024 06:13pm
Critics slam DAP's alleged silence on Najib, Pua issues
Critics slam DAP's alleged silence on Najib, Pua issues

SHAH ALAM - DAP has allegedly gagged party members, especially elected representatives, from making public comments relating to convicted former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's pardon and former DAP lawmaker Tony Pua.

According to a source within DAP, this decision was made following directives from the top leadership of the Unity Government.

"DAP members, including Members of Parliament and state representatives, have been instructed to refrain from making any public statements on these matters.

"This directive aims to prevent any potential manipulation of the party members' remarks by political opponents.

"The Unity Government's top leadership views this as the most prudent approach to move forward with the country's governance and to uphold relations with Umno," the source told Sinar Daily.

Sinar Daily reached out to several prominent DAP figures, including DAP Deputy Secretary-General Liew Chin Tong, Puchong MP Yeo Bee Yin, Bangi MP Syahredzan Johan, Bentong MP Young Syefura Othman, Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai, Human Resource Minister Steven Sim, Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng, but received no response and left blue-ticked.

Last week, it was reported that former Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming had urged DAP leadership to take a decisive stance on the ongoing 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) cases involving Najib following the reduction of the former prime minister's jail sentence and fine by the Pardons Board.

Ong stressed that the investigations surrounding 1MDB must persist, urging DAP leadership not to remain silent on various pertinent issues related to the case.

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"The reduction of Najib's prison sentence from 12 years to six and the deduction of the fine from RM210 million to RM50 million, as recommended by the Pardons Board, is likely a compromise that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the Pakatan Harapan (PH) leadership had to make to appease supporters of 'Bossku' within Umno.

"However, this should not preclude DAP leadership from taking a firm stance on several significant related issues," Ong reportedly said.

He further called upon DAP leadership to adopt a resolute position on the police investigation launched against Pua under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

On Feb 4, Federal Police initiated an investigation into Pua's comments regarding Najib's sentence in the SRC International case.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain announced that the probe was initiated following allegations that the former Damansara MP's comments on his Facebook page insulted the royal institution.

He claimed that Pua's remarks contained “elements of incitement to hatred and insult towards the royal institutions”, particularly impinging on the rights of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong enshrined under Article 42 of the Federal Constitution.

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 month.

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.

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