It is baffling that Najib Razak is free to roam around the country and enjoy special treatment despite being found guilty of corruption, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
“He looks healthy, he goes here and there, but to court, he could not make it. He can even obtain his passport but was able to postpone his trip to Singapore. What kind of government is this?” asked the Pejuang chairman in a press conference.
Last week, the Court of Appeal allowed Najib’s impounded passport to be returned temporarily for him to travel to Singapore to visit his pregnant daughter, Nooryana Najwa.
However, Najib has sought a fresh court application to delay his trip to the republic to allow him to oversee Umno’s preparations for the Malacca state elections.
Dr Mahathir asked why there was a delay in committing Najib to jail as he had been convicted and sentenced.
“At first, it was said that the appeal for his sentencing was rejected and the hearing was supposed to commence in April, but now is October,” said Dr Mahathir.
On July 28 last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court convicted the former prime minister of criminal breach of trust, money laundering, and power abuse, involving RM42 million belonging to 1MDB subsidiary SRC International.
He was sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million.
Najib is currently appealing the conviction. He also faces other criminal cases.
Taking a swipe at Najib, Dr Mahathir labelled him the country’s first VIP criminal for being able to leave the country despite being found guilty by the courts.
“Usually, when someone is found guilty and sentenced to prison time, they would have to serve their time but (Najib) gets escorted like a VIP.
“He is Malaysia’s first criminal VIP,” Dr Mahathir said.
Meanwhile, Mukhriz Mahathir has urged Attorney-General Idrus Harun to explain why he had not objected to the recent applications made by several prominent personalities on trial to regain their passports to leave the country.
He said an explanation was necessary since the Attorney-General’s Chambers had approved the applications made by these accused persons to leave the country for whatever reasons, while those with unpaid higher education loans remain blacklisted.
“The AG did not even object to these applications, and to question why these people are free to leave the country, even temporarily.
“We know that PTPTN borrowers are barred from going overseas because of unpaid debts, doctors who are yet to settle their taxes are also not allowed to fly.
“But these individuals can obtain their passport and leave the country,” the Pejuang president said in a press conference.
He was referring to recent court approvals for Najib and his wife to be allowed to fly to Singapore to visit their pregnant daughter.
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has also been given his passport to travel to Germany for medical treatment.
Earlier today, lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s passport was also released for him to travel to the United States to settle his son’s education matters.
All four of them are facing criminal charges.