Respect Pardons Board’s decision, refrain from commenting on social media – Fahmi

(Bernama) – Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil has called on all parties to respect the decision by the Pardon’s Board on former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and refrain from making comments on the matter, including on social media.

Citing Article 42 (1) of the Federal Constitution, he said, it stipulates that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the power to decide on the matter and that the decision cannot be questioned in court.

“If the matter cannot be questioned in court, I request that we all respect the decision (by the Pardons’ Board). If we overreact in making comments, action can be taken either by the police or the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

“So, don’t let there be a violation of the law, manners, or morals and don’t touch the 3R issue (religion, race and royalty). This is a reminder to everyone.

“I urge for all quarters to be careful (in making comments),“ he told a press conference after conducting a Cellular Service Quality Test at the Felda Bukit Goh Digital Economy Centre (PEDi) here today.

Also present were the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Communications Datuk Mohamad Fauzi Md Isa, MCMC Head of Coordination Division in Pahang, Bukhari Yahya and Bernama Editor-in-Chief Nur-ul Afida Kamaludin.

When asked about the response by certain quarters, especially UMNO, to the cut in Najib’s jail term, instead of his release, Fahmi said he was optimistic that the party leaders in the MADANI government would work together to manage the matter.

“We need to face this matter together and this togetherness, in my opinion, will be a strength. The issue is that we need to explain the process and what can be done. We cannot go beyond the limits of the law, the constitution and we respect the institutions that made the decision,” he said.

Yesterday, the Pardons Board announced that the prison sentence against Najib has been reduced from 12 years to six years and the fine to RM50m million from the original RM210 million.

Najib, 70, who has been serving the jail sentence at the Kajang Prison since Aug 23, 2022, after being convicted of misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International funds, filed the petition for a royal pardon on Sept 2, 2022.

On July 28, 2020, the High Court sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and fined him RM210 million after finding him guilty of three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and one charge of abusing his position over SRC funds.

His appeal against his conviction and sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in 2021 and Aug 23 the following year by the Federal Court, leaving only a royal pardon as his last avenue for freedom.

Meanwhile, Fahmi hoped that political leadership, including those from the ‘same party as him’, to self-reflect and not be too quick in giving comments that can hurt friends in the MADANI government.

He referred to a statement by Pasir Gudang Member of Parliament Hassan Karim which was reported by the media a few days ago, for UMNO to change its leader.

The statement by Hassan is his personal view and not representative of the party, said Fahmi, adding that he had contacted Hassan and gave him a stern warning about it.

“He shouldn’t have made such a statement. Don’t meddle in other parties’ business. He is a friend and a person I respect and with principles, but his way is not helping.

“If we do that, there are parties who will take advantage,” he added.