Latheefa Koya: Don’t blame Agong for Pardons Board decision

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Najib’s reduced sentence a ‘bitter blow’ to MACC.

Former MACC chief Latheefa Koya has hit out at Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s latest remark defending a Pardons Board decision to reduce Najib Abdul Razak’s sentence.

Taking to X, Latheefa accused Anwar of shifting blame to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as chairperson of the Pardons Board.

“Don’t blame the king. His Majesty is bound by the advice of the Pardons Board,” said Latheefa in response to Anwar’s remarks this morning.

Anwar said the hearing given by the Pardons Board to Najib’s royal pardon application was in line with the given process and that there was no expediting of the appeal.

He also denied suggestions that a convict would need to serve at least three years of his sentence before his pardon application can be considered.

This follows Umno supreme council member Lokman Noor Adam’s statement thanking Anwar, as well as Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, for efforts to seek an early hearing of Najib’s pardon petition filed in September 2022.

Commenting further, Latheefa cited Article 40(1A) of the Federal Constitution, that the king “shall accept” the board’s advice.

“When the Pardons Board gave the advice, he had to accept.

FMT

“That advice clearly was to reduce the sentence. Simple as that. So, stop spinning,” she said.

Yesterday, Latheefa questioned how MACC officers involved in investigating the 1MDB scandal would feel over the reduced sentence, many who remain as civil servants and unable to speak up.

“How do the MACC officers, who risked their jobs and livelihood to investigate 1MDB during the Najib era, feel about the reduced sentence? Let us make no mistake, it is a bitter blow to those officers and to MACC as a whole.

“I know the officers, I know what they are feeling right now,” she said.

“And this reduction of a sentence comes as MACC is still trying to recover 1MDB monies overseas,” she added.

“I was involved in this process, and I know the difficulties. Those other countries are carefully watching – will they cooperate now?” she asked.