Question of how the government would ensure Najib would not abscond.
The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) has cried foul after Najib Abdul Razak was permitted to travel abroad despite a corruption conviction and ongoing criminal trials.
The NGO demanded an explanation as to why the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) did not object to the former prime minister’s application for his travel document.
It also questioned how the government would ensure Najib would not abscond.
“We urge the AGC and the prosecution team to explain to the public why there was no objection to Najib’s application for temporary custody of his passport.
“There are real reasons for concern about flight risk as he is appealing his conviction and continues to face more daunting charges in court – all related to 1MDB and its subsidiaries,” the NGO said in a statement today.
C4 noted that “Najib allies” like 1MDB mastermind Low Taek Jho and former 1MDB CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil had already escaped from Malaysia.
“Malaysia cannot afford to give Najib any opportunity to escape after being charged with multiple counts of money laundering and corruption in such a massive financial heist.
“We ask again what measures are in place to ensure he does not slip away,” it stressed.
“We are dealing with a convicted criminal who is barred from contesting in the general election, but he is allowed to travel overseas? Where is the logic in this?
“We urge Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to assure Malaysians that former prime minister Najib will account for his misdeeds and cannot be given preferential treatment.
“The 1MDB scandal is also named in the Pandora Papers and linked to Russian and Indian frauds, signalling no end to this gargantuan financial heist, of which he is a central figure.
“It bears stating again that Jho Low (fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho) and (former SRC International CEO) Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, both central allies of Najib, are still at large.
“Malaysia cannot afford to give Najib any opportunity to escape after being charged with multiple counts of corruption and money laundering in such a huge financial heist.
“We ask, again, what measures are in place to ensure he does not slip away?”
C4 Centre also pointed out that Najib is appealing the RM 1.7 billion in fines to be paid to the Inland Revenue Board.
If he owes the government such a hefty sum, why is he allowed to leave the country when other income tax defaulters are blacklisted, it asked.
“Double standards in the execution of the law will greatly affect the upholding of the rule of law.”
Last Friday, Najib applied to have his passport temporarily returned on grounds that his daughter Nooryana Najwa Najib was about to give birth in Singapore.
The Court of Appeal previously confiscated both his passports while hearing his appeal against his RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd conviction and sentence.
Yesterday, the court released his passport to him from Oct 20 to Nov 22.
Meanwhile, Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor was also allowed temporary access to her passport on the same grounds.
She previously surrendered her passport as part of bail conditions pending the disposal of her corruption trial linked to an RM1.25 billion solar hybrid energy project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court released Rosmah’s passport from Oct 15 to Dec 6.