Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng has today urged the Pardons Board to explain the remarks made by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the lawyer for convicted former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday.
The DAP lawmaker said the board must explain whether Shafee broke the law by divulging to the public the alleged decisions made by the Pardons Board and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA), which he said is confidential.
“Usually, the deliberations by the Pardons Board are kept confidential, but Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah has openly revealed yesterday how the 16th-YDPA carried out the secret ballot on paper.
“I urge the Pardons Board to state clearly in no uncertain terms whether it is allowed under our law for Shafee to announce that the YDPA ‘was thinking of giving’ a full pardon to Najib,” he said in a statement here.
Lim added that Shafee had also shown a letter to the media and read it out claiming it to be written from the Pardons Board to Najib, alleging that the Board had on January 29 advised the YDPA that Najib should serve out the rest of his sentence.
“Is Shafee also allowed under the law to reveal publicly how the YDPA had conducted a secret ballot during the meeting on Jan 29 to decide whether a full pardon should be granted to Najib?
“It appears as if Shafee was at the meeting on January 29 when the Pardons Board met to decide on Najib’s fate. Was Shafee invited as an eyewitness at the meeting, or did he make this all up?” he asked.
“Again, I strongly urge the Pardons Board and the relevant authorities to state clearly whether the statements made by Shafee are true and his actions were not against any law,” he added.
Yesterday, Shafee asserted that the former Agong contemplated a full pardon but later chose a commuted sentence during the Pardons Board meeting he chaired on January 29.
However, it was also reported that members of the Pardons Board suggested the former prime minister should continue serving his sentence.
On February 2, the Pardon’s Board halved Najib’s sentence from a 12-year prison term to six years for misappropriating funds amounting to RM42 million, which means he may be released earlier on August 23, 2028.
Najib has been imprisoned since August 23, 2022, after the Federal Court upheld his conviction for criminal breach of trust, power abuse and money laundering over the misappropriation of SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds.
The Pardons Board said it had also decided to reduce his RM210 million fine to RM50 million, and his early release would be contingent on him paying this amount.
If he fails to do so, his early release date will be a year later on August 23, 2029.
He has been a prisoner for more than one year and five months now since August 2022, and his 12-year jail term was initially due to end in 2034.
Najib still has an ongoing trial involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds worth RM2.27 billion in which he has been charged with four counts of abuse of power and 21 counts of money laundering. – MMO