King has the discretionary power to pardon those that have been convicted, but it must be done according to the law.
Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhah today expressed his “solid” support of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s assertion that royal pardons cannot be meted out arbitrarily, amid petitions for convicted former prime minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak to be granted one.
The Selangor monarch reminded Malaysians that while the King has the discretionary power to pardon those that have been convicted, it must be done according to the law.
“I would like to convey my solid support for the decree by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on September 5, 2022 with regards to the prerogative power to pardon that cannot be meted out arbitrarily for the sake of vested interests.
“The public must understand that the pardon process may be done according to the law and procedures as provided under the Constitution and its relevant laws,” the state Ruler said in a statement.
In his speech while officiating the Pahang Shariah Court Complex in Kuantan, Pahang on September 5, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was reported to have said that the power to punish and pardon must not be used arbitrarily because it will be held accountable in the “afterlife”.
“If the law is not implemented consistently and fairly, justice will certainly not be achieved as the philosophy behind the enactment of a law would have been tainted, and as a result, the disadvantaged party would end up being victimised by those in power,” national news agency Bernama had quoted the Agong as saying.
The King was also quoted as saying that Islamic justice prohibits privilege or exception be given to anyone who commits wrongdoing, be it oneself, close friends, family members or parents.
Supporters of Najib have been increasingly vocal in pushing for the Umno politicians to be pardoned even as he faces a slew of other corruption, money laundering and criminal charges, with some yet to start trial.
Inversely, a campaign was launched to petition the Agong against granting the pardon.
Najib is currently serving his 12-year jail sentence at the Kajang Prison after a five-judge panel at the Federal Court upheld his conviction of stealing RM42 million from the government-owned SRC International Sdn Bhd.
A royal pardon falls under Article 42(1) of the Federal Constitution, which gives the Agong or Sultan the powers to grant a pardon or reprieve to a convict. – MMO