‘If he wins (GE15) and once again becomes a member of the Dewan Rakyat, can he be the PM as well?’
by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic by TMR FILE
TUN Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) describes Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s stay of execution as a world record, as even people who are found guilty of minor offences have never received a reprieve like this.
Writing in response to the Court of Appeal’s verdict on the seven charges against Najib in relation to the misappropriation of funds in SRC International Sdn Bhd amounting to RM42 million, in which he was found guilty, Dr Mahathir said there has never been a crime as big as those committed by Najib, according to the US Department of Justice.
However, the former prime minister (PM) added that “the convict” Najib will not serve his sentences as the latter is appealing to the Federal Court, which will be for another year or more.
“During that time, Najib is free like an innocent person. If while waiting, he is allowed to continue as a member of the Dewan Rakyat, will he also be able to contest in the 15th General Election (GE15)?
“If he wins and once again becomes a member of the Dewan Rakyat, can he be the PM as well?” the nonagenarian wrote yesterday, adding that there is nothing in the law that says Najib could not.
“Alhamdulillah, Malaysia may make a record again because a convict will be given the position of a PM,” he said sarcastically.
Meanwhile, Twitter was buzzing with reactions to Judge Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil calling Najib a “national embarrassment”, with over 12,400 tweets as of 2.30pm yesterday.
Many Twitter users expressed relief that the former PM was finally being held accountable for his actions, which include multiple counts of corruption namely money laundering, abuse of power and criminal breach of trust.
Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim Chee Keong, on his Facebook page, said Najib has not only embarrassed Malaysia, but also the legacy of his father, Tun Abdul Razak.
“Najib has embarrassed Malaysia, embarrassed the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, embarrassed his religion and race. For one thing, the escort police service for Najib should be terminated immediately.
“Don’t continue to embarrass our police by forcing them to escort criminals as if they are VVIPs. Keep the dignity of the police!” he added.
A fake “Welcome to Sungai Buloh Prison” poster had also made its round on social media, to which the Malaysia Prison Department had denied its authenticity. The poster features Najib in a blue Baju Melayu with the department’s logo.
On the other hand, Najib’s supporters were seen outside the court-house expressing dissatisfaction over the verdict.
“Our love for him is endless. He is nobility, not a thief!” one female supporter was caught saying on camera, followed by cries of “Hidup Najib! Free Najib!”
Meanwhile, Najib’s lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said it was unnecessary to use the term “national embarrassment” to describe the former leader.
“They could have said that the defence of the national interest did not subsist and we rejected (the appeal). That would have been the end of the matter.
“To go further and say that this is a national embarrassment was unnecessary, and that can cause some serious element of perception of Najib, considering that the entire conviction and sentence have been stayed,” added Muhammad Shafee.