Be Ready To Explain Najib’s Pardon

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KOTA BARU: The unity government must be ready to explain the Pardon Board’s decision to reduce Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s jail sentence and fine if there are any issues raised in or out of parliament.

Pas secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said the people have the right to question the decision.

“The pardon given to Datuk Seri Najib was a legal process based on the constitution and we can’t comment more than what was decided.

“But it’s just a bit surprising. I think it’s the first time in the history of the Pardons Board that such a decision has happened.

“Before this, a pardon would have been a release from prison but this time it is reduced. This was made after discussing with Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“It’s just that in 2018, when the Pardons Board granted pardon to PMX, the statement was issued by the National Palace but this time the statement was issued by the government, the Minister of Law.

“So we are not sure which procedure is correct,” said Takiyuddin.

The Kota Baru member of parliament said this to reporters at the handing over of mandarin oranges in conjunction with the coming Chinese New Year celebration here last night.

The oranges were handed over to the crowd by Menteri Besar Datuk Nassuruddin Daud.

Takiyuddin said the Pardon Board’s decision was not anticipated by any party.

“Before this, no one knew the process of the Pardons Board but this time it took a long time before the board convened and people were already talking about this pardon.

“It’s a little unusual. The decision of the board has been delayed. This raises questions among people.

“There are parties (not Pas) who ask on what basis the decision was made in such a way with various assumptions,” he added.

He said Pas, however, has accepted the decision and hoped that the government would be willing to give an explanation if questioned.

Yesterday, the Pardons Board halved Najib’s 12-year jail term to six and reduced his RM210 million fine to RM50 million in connection with the embezzlement of RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.

The former prime minister will now be released from prison on Aug 23, 2028, upon payment of the fine.

However, it said that if the fine isn’t paid, Najib’s prison term will be extended by a year, which means that he would be released on Aug 23, 2029. NST