Prison Dept rejected Najib’s application to attend Parliament because of security reasons

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Imprisoned former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s application to attend Parliament as a Pekan MP has failed, his lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah confirmed today.

According to Shafee, Najib’s lawyer:

  • If the home minister does not respond to Najib’s appeal by tomorrow noon, a judicial review will be filed – the first of such legal action in Malaysia
  • Najib should have access to his political aide
  • Najib should be escorted to his constituency
  • Najib should be treated as an MP

Shafee said the Malaysian Prison Department had last week rejected his client’s application to go to the Dewan Rakyat on grounds of “security”, and said Najib plans to file a lawsuit if the home minister does not respond to his appeal by tomorrow noon.

“So, because we have received the rejection from the director-general, we have written an appeal to the Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, we have written an appeal but we have yet to get an answer yet.

“If tomorrow by 12 noon, we don’t receive any answer, we are filing for a judicial review,” he told reporters at the court building.

“This is to correct the wrong decision that we think the prison has made, because we think the reason that they gave, namely on the ground of security is not logical, because Parliament is a lot more safer than court.”

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“If he can be in open court and hospital, then there is no security issue.

“The Prisons Department can take security measures. It can collaborate with parliament on that

“Under normal circumstances we wouldn’t rush, but time is already short because parliament is in session,” Shafee added.

He said if a judicial review is filed, then it would be the first of such legal action in Malaysia as it could allow any lawmaker who has been convicted and sentenced but still has other related pending due processes (such as a review bid before the apex court or an application before the Pardons Board) to continue to serve his or her constituency as a lawmaker.

Earlier today, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun said parliament has no power to stop Najib from attending the daily meetings.

He said he does not have the power to prevent any parliamentarian from entering the Dewan Rakyat chambers.

Shafee also said that Najib, as a serving MP, should have access to his political aide.

“The aide should be allowed to see Najib to take instructions on how to serve his constituents.

“Meanwhile, Najib should be escorted to his constituency to talk to his constituents and to render assistance.

“I’m not saying he should get all the privileges of an MP but he should be allowed to exercise his duty as such.

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“If he is an MP treat him as an MP.”