Zahid confirms existence of royal addendum for Najib's house arrest

17 Apr 2024 04:47pm
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi - BERNAMA FILE PIX
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi - BERNAMA FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi confirms the existence of an addendum order purportedly issued with the consent of the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong allowing Datuk Seri Najib Razak to go under house arrest to serve the remaining six years of his prison sentence.

The Rural and Regional Development Minister said this in an affidavit in support of an application by the former prime minister to obtain leave for a judicial review to challenge the existence of the addendum order.

He filed the affidavit at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on April 9.

In the affidavit, Zahid claimed that he has been informed by Finance, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz of the existence of the addendum order on Jan 30.

"On Jan 30, 2024, during a meeting in my house in Country Heights with Zafrul, I was informed by him of the existence of the addendum order.

"Upon querying further, he subsequently showed me a copy of the said order on his phone which he personally photographed/scanned from an original copy as shown to him by the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

"The contents of the addendum order expressly stated that the applicant (Najib) is allowed to serve the reduced sentence of his imprisonment under condition of "home arrest," instead of the current prison confinement in the Kajang Prison.

"I further sighted that the addendum order is dated Jan 29, 2024 and has the seal and signature of His Majestry. I further confirmed that the addendum order is genuine and in fact is the Royal Prerogative Order as the Main Order," he said confirming the existence of the addendum order.

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Zahid also claimed through the affidavit that when he saw the order, he believed that it was part of Najib's pardon process which was suplementary to the Main Order both dated Jan 29, 2024.

He said he also believed that other than him and Zafrul, there were other members of the government who have seen the addendum order.

"Specifically, I am aware that Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail has also seen a copy of the addendum order and can confirm the same," he said.

However, Zahid said he did not have a copy of the order for reasons of confidentiality and propriety especially in the light of the fact that the order has not been executed or enforced yet then.

"I am further verily informed that the Attorney-General (AG) has the original or copy of the addendum order for his legal input on the same," Zahid said.

Najib, 70, filed the leave application for judicial review at the High Court on April 1.

He named the Home Minister, Commissioner-General of Prisons, AG, the Pardons Board for the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (JPM) (Law and Institutional Reform), Director-General of Legal Affairs Division at JPM and the Malaysian Government as the first to the seventh respondents.

The former Pekan MP is seeking a mandamus order to compel either all or one of the respondents to respond and confirm the existence of the supplementary order dated Jan 29, 2024.

He is also seeking a mandamus order that if the supplementary exists, all or one of the respondents must enforce it immediately by transferring him from Kajang Prison to his residence in Kuala Lumpur for him to serve the remainder of his prison sentence under house arrest.

Najib has been serving his sentence in Kajang Prison since Aug 23, 2022, after being convicted of misappropriating RM42 million in funds belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

On Sept 2, 2022, he filed a petition for a royal pardon.

The Pardons Board reduced Najib's prison sentence from 12 years to six years, while the fine was reduced from RM210 million to RM50 million.