Government urged not to remain tight-lipped on the matter.
- Najib’s cell has been renovated
- Plans to move Najib to Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital to allow more access to visitors and VVIP facilties
Najib Abdul Razak’s liberal access to the outside world lends credibility to the allegation that the former premier, who is serving a 12-year prison sentence, has been accorded preferential treatment, alleged PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli.
He was referring to an anonymous message making rounds on social media, which referred to Najib with the codename “merpati” (pigeon).
Among others, the message alleged that Najib’s cell in the Kajang Prison complex has been renovated and there are plans to move him to the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital (CRH) to allow more access to visitors and VVIP facilities.
Speaking to Malaysiakini, Rafizi said he was disinclined at first to comment on the matter since it concerned an anonymous message.
However, a posting on the former premier’s Facebook page yesterday taking a swipe at Rafizi announcing PKR’s plans to engage undecided voters changed his mind.
“I’m confused now. The public is being told that Najib’s health is not good but on the other hand, he seems to be doing fine and can even post messages on Facebook.
“Even if he says the posting was made by his Facebook page administrator, we know Najib shouldn’t have any interaction with the outside world.
“So how did he pass the message to his Facebook administrator, let alone know what I said during the PKR machinery launch on Sunday?” he asked.
He added that if Najib does have access to the outside world, then it would be a mockery of the courts which imprisoned him for corruption.
Rafizi also said that it would corroborate the “merpati” rumours and therefore, urged the government not to remain tight-lipped on the matter.
“Najib does appear to have some access to the outside world, to follow developments and pass messages.
“If it is true that he will be relocated to the rehabilitation hospital, it indirectly confirms the viral message.
“This is a serious issue. The prime minister, home minister and government must respond,” he added.
Malaysiakini has reached out to the Home Ministry, Prisons Department and Najib’s representatives for comment.
Najib landed behind bars late last month after the Federal Court upheld his conviction in the RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd case.
However, the Pekan MP was warded in the Kuala Lumpur Hospital last week after his health deteriorated. It is unclear if he is still undergoing treatment.
Anwar’s case was different
PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, during his imprisonment, had also issued media statements and spent the last six months of his incarceration in the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital due to a shoulder injury.
Commenting on this, Rafizi said Anwar was kept abreast of developments and issued statements via his lawyers, verbally.
“For Anwar, there were thorough checks on materials brought in and out of prison, the authorities would check papers and lawyers’ notebooks, and did not allow any kind of material to be brought out of prison.
“So, there is a clear precedent for a high-profile politician in prison, and it should be consistent throughout,” he said.
As for the PKR president being relocated to the rehabilitation hospital, Rafizi said Anwar spent several years in prison before being transferred and this was done due to legitimate medical reasons.
“That is not the case for Najib if the allegations are true,” he added. – Malaysiakini