Bersih launches petition asking King to deny Najib royal pardon

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An online petition addressed to Istana Negara requesting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah reject any opportunity to pardon former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was launched today.

Yusof Mat Isa

As of the time of writing, the petition, which was started by electoral watchdog Bersih, had garnered nearly 2,000 signatures out of its 2,500 target on the website, a popular site for hosting digital petitions.

“We, your loyal subjects, humbly appeal to Your Majesty, not to exercise your discretion to pardon former Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak for his crime against the Malaysian public. He has been convicted of stealing public funds in the SRC International case and had been given due process of a fair trial.

“As the rakyat, we had to suffer the impact of corruption by elected officials who enriched themselves with our national wealth instead of using it to develop this country,” the petition read.

The petition said Najib has “brought shame” to the country, and as a nation, Malaysia must not tolerate corruption or the corrupt, “whoever that person may be”.

“Let Najib serve his 12 years in jail and pay the RM210 million fine so as to serve as an example to any leaders who think they can corruptly abuse their position of authority,” it added.

The royal pardon falls under Article 42(1) of the Federal Constitution, which gives the Agong or Sultan the powers to grant a pardon or reprieve to a convict, wiping clean any legal punishments to provide a “clean slate”.

Yesterday, Bersih praised the Federal Court’s decision to uphold Najib’s previous verdict and sentence.

Bersih claimed that the Federal Court demonstrated that it would not submit to political or public pressure, and is a fair platform that deals equally to all parties in its administration of justice.

It then called for a redoubling of efforts to combat corruption and abuse of power to ensure an end to those who plunder public funds for their own keepsake.