Anwar: Najib’s service, contributions to country among basis for sentence “discount”

“The board members gave their views, but ultimately the decision was made by the (former) Yang di-Pertuan Agong”

(Focus Malaysia) – THE Pardons Board’s decision to grant Datuk Seri Najib Razak a reduction in his sentence and fine is partly due to the former premier’s contributions to the country, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar said the matter, among others, was considered in the discussion of the Pardons Board meeting.

“The Pardons Board process follows a set of rules and considerations where the basis of the appeal takes into account Najib’s role and service to the family, community and country in addition to his life in prison,” he explained in his speech at the Prime Minister’s Department’s monthly assembly.

“The judiciary process, the type of case, the type of punishment are all explained before each board member gives their views (on the matter) before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong makes a decision.”

In his speech to the assembly, Anwar denied suggestions that a convict would need to serve at least three years of his sentence before his pardon application can be considered.

“Anyone (who has been convicted of an offence) can submit an initial application in line with the given process,” he said.

“In this case, the application was made, and it is true that as prime minister I ensured that it was heard. So, I acknowledge responsibility for that.”

When quizzed if Najib’s pardon application was expedited, Anwar clarified that he takes it upon himself to ensure that all applications received are given prompt attention.

Last Friday, the Pardons Board announced the reduction of Najib’s prison sentence in the SRC International case from 12 years to six.

His fine was also reduced from RM210 mil to RM50 mil, but with an additional year added to the sentence if he fails to pay the amount.

Anwar noted that the outcome of Najib’s pardon application has evoked strong views from all quarters, and expressed hope that his explanation would quell tensions that have arisen.

He said the main consideration was not legal but the compassion of the outgoing king Al-Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, and that the decision was final.

“The main consideration was about mercy and compassion. The decision by the former Yang di-Pertuan Agong is final and it is based on significant considerations, not just the law,” he stated.

“The decision by the (former) Yang di-Pertuan Agong is final and it is based on various considerations, not just the law.

“Therefore, the process of justice and primary consideration are a matter of (the former king’s) discretion. Let’s calm down. Let’s accept what has been provided in the Federal Constitution.”

Anwar further called for all parties to refrain from demanding an explanation from the Pardons Board, as the ultimate decision was vested in the former King.

“The board members gave their views, but ultimately the decision was made by the (former) Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” he said.

The prime minister said whether the former King chooses to provide an explanation or not is entirely within His Majesty’s prerogative.

“That is the authority given (to the King) by the constitution since Merdeka,” he said.