The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must investigate Muhyiddin Yassin’s statement that former Umno president Najib Razak and current president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had sought his help to clear them of corruption charges, a lawyer said.
Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar al-Mahdzar said if this was true, he believed both men had committed an offence under Section 28 of the MACC Act.
“It is attempting to seek gratification for themselves by using the services of Muhyiddin,” he said.
Syed Iskandar said the term gratification was given wide meaning in the MACC Act.
Those found guilty could be fined up to RM10,000 or sentenced to a jail term not exceeding two years, or both.
The lawyer said this in response to Muhyiddin recalling the time when Zahid, and separately, Najib, had allegedly pleaded with him to help in their corruption cases.
Muhyiddin, who was the prime minister from March 2020 to August last year, said he declined to heed their requests as he did not want to interfere in the judiciary as a matter of principle.
In a televised speech just days before he resigned as the prime minister, Muhyiddin claimed he was under pressure from “certain parties” to intervene in matters of the court in order to set several individuals free of criminal charges.
He said these individuals were uneasy over his strict stand in refusing to entertain their demands.
“This included pressure for me to intervene in matters of the court to release several individuals who were charged with criminal offences,” he had said.
Meanwhile, lawyer A Srimurugan said Najib and Zahid should initiate defamation suits if what Muhyiddin claimed was untrue.
“All the elements for defamation are there. If they don’t, the allegation by Muhyiddin will be deemed as the truth,” he said.
Last December, the Court of Appeal affirmed the conviction of Najib by the High Court in July 2020 in relation to RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd. Najib’s 12-year jail term and a fine of RM210 million on charges of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering were also upheld.
The Pekan MP is also facing four trials that include corruption and money laundering charges involving RM2.3 billion.
Last month, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ordered Zahid to enter his defence on 47 criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering charges involving Yayasan Akalbudi funds.
Zahid also faces 40 charges at the Shah Alam High Court of having accepted bribes from a company in relation to the overseas visa system. – FMT
Feb 17, Muhyiddin: Zahid visited with pile of files, asking for help