DAP leader Lim Kit Siang today questioned the special treatment given to Najib Razak, who has been allowed to travel overseas although he has been convicted of a crime.
Lim said his party colleague Tony Pua had been barred from leaving the country in 2015 when he was facing charges of illegal assembly.
“Why was MP Tony Pua’s passport impounded and he banned from travel overseas while Najib is allowed to travel abroad when convicted?” said the Iskandar Puteri MP in a statement today.
“Yesterday, the Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) 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 despite a corruption conviction and ongoing criminal trials and how the government would ensure Najib would not abscond,” Lim said.
“C4 has raised a legitimate public interest question which should be answered by the attorney-general himself if he believes and upholds the rule of law and the principles of good governance on transparency and accountability,” Lim said.
On July 22, 2015, Pua was barred from travelling to Yogjakarta while he was under investigation under section 124B of the penal code for activities view detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
Travel bans were also imposed on then Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah and political cartoonist Zunar when they were facing charges.
The Court of Appeal on Monday allowed Najib to travel to Singapore to visit his pregnant daughter, Nooryana Najwa, who is expected to give birth soon.
A three-man bench chaired by judge Kamaludin Md Said unanimously decided to grant Najib his application after hearing submissions from Najib’s lawyer, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.
Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Fairuz Johari said there was no objection from his side and that he would leave the matter to the wisdom of the court.
Days earlier the court had also returned the passports of Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for overseas travel.
Rosmah wanted to visit her pregnant daughter in Singapore while Zahid wished to seek medical treatment in Germany. Both are facing trial for criminal offences.
Yesterday C4 said the Attorney-General’s Chambers must explain to the public why prosecutors had not objected to Najib’s application for the release of his passport.
C4 said it was appalled that Najib, who had been convicted of corruption and criminal breach of trust, had been handed 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.” – TMI