Fahmi: Respect Pardons Board's decision, refrain from commenting on social media

KUANTAN: All parties must respect the decision by the Pardon’s Board to commute former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s sentence and refrain from making comments on the matter, including on social media, says Fahmi Fadzil.

The Communications Minister said Article 42(1) of the Federal Constitution 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. If the comments go overboard, the police or the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) can take action.

“So, don’t violate of the law, manners or morals and don’t touch on 3R (religion, race and royalty) issues.

“This is a reminder to everyone to be careful,” he told a press conference after conducting a cellular service quality test at the Felda Bukit Goh Digital Economy Centre (Pedi) here on Saturday (Feb 3).

Also present were Communications Ministry secretary-general Datuk Mohamad Fauzi Md Isa, Pahang MCMC coordination division head Bukhari Yahya and Bernama editor-in-chief Nur-ul Afida Kamaludin.

When asked about the response from certain quarters, especially Umno, to the jail sentence reduction instead of a release, Fahmi said he was optimistic that party leaders in the 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.

On Friday (Feb 2), the Pardons Board announced that the prison sentence for Najib would be reduced from 12 years to six and the fine reduced from RM210mil to RM50mil.

Najib, 70, who has been serving the jail sentence at the Kajang Prison since Aug 23, 2022, after being convicted of misappropriating RM42mil 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’ jail and a RM210mil fine after finding him guilty of three counts of criminal breach of trust and one charge of abusing his position.

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 said hoped that political leadership, including those from the same party as him to self-reflect and not be too quick in making comments that could hurt their friends in the government.

He was referring to a statement by Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim who said it was time for Umno to have a new leader.

Fahmi said Hassan’s statement was a personal view and not representative of the party, adding that he had given Hassan a stern warning.

“He shouldn’t have made such a statement. Don’t meddle in other parties’ business.

“He (Hassan) is a friend and a person with principles whom I respect, but his comment is not helping. If we do that, there are parties who will take advantage,” he said. – Bernama

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