Zahid Confirms Existence of Royal Decree Allowing Najib to Serve Sentence at Home

Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak seeks house arrest through alleged royal decree, raising questions about transparency and Anwar Ibrahim's anti-corruption efforts.

Trim Correspondents
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Zahid Confirms Existence of Royal Decree Allowing Najib to Serve Sentence at Home

Zahid Confirms Existence of Royal Decree Allowing Najib to Serve Sentence at Home

Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has filed an affidavit confirming the existence of a royal decree that would allow former Prime Minister Najib Razak to serve the remainder of his 12-year prison sentence under house arrest. Zahid claimed he was shown a copy of the addendum order, dated January 29, 2024, by former Selangor Umno treasurer Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

According to Zahid, the order expressly stated that Najib should be allowed to serve his reduced six-year sentence under house arrest instead of in prison. The order reportedly bears the royal seal and signature of the former Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdullah. Zahid also stated that other government members, including the Pahang Menteri Besar and Attorney General, have seen the addendum order.

Najib, who is currently serving a sentence for abuse of power and criminal breach of trust involving RM42 million from SRC International, has filed a judicial review application to compel the government to produce and enforce the addendum order. He claims the authorities have not revealed or executed the order, which would allow him to be transferred from Kajang Prison to his residence in Kuala Lumpur.

Why this matters:The alleged existence of a royal decree allowing Najib to serve his sentence at home has significant implications for Malaysia's political terrain and the public's perception of the justice system. It raises questions about the transparency and fairness of the legal process, especially given Najib's high-profile case and the severity of his crimes.

The fate of Najib's application will be known on June 5, when the High Court delivers its decision. Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz has disputed Zahid's claims, stating that the deputy prime minister's affidavit contains factual errors. The authenticity of the alleged royal order remains a key factor in the case.

This development has drawn scrutiny to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's commitment to fighting corruption, as the royal leniency granted to Najib earlier this year sparked a backlash against Anwar's government, which counts Najib's party, Umno, as a key ally. Analysts suggest that if Najib is successful in his bid, it will be difficult for Anwar's administration to explain why they chose not to disclose or enforce the addendum order.

Key Takeaways

  • Deputy PM Zahid confirms royal decree allowing Najib house arrest.
  • Najib files judicial review to compel govt to enforce the order.
  • Authenticity of the royal order remains a key factor in the case.
  • Najib's potential house arrest raises questions about justice system.
  • Anwar's govt faces backlash if Najib's bid is successful.