PETALING JAYA: When Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak appeared at the High Court yesterday, many asked why he wasn’t in the orange attire usually worn by most accused persons in corruption cases.
They were referring to the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) infamous orange lock-up “uniform”. Instead, Najib was wearing a dark blue suit with white shirt.
The orange uniform is, however, only used when a suspect is being remanded for investigations.
Previously the likes of former Felda chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad, Penang exco Phee Boon Poh and Parti Warisan Sabah chief Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal had been pictured in this uniform while attending court for remand hearings.
A remand process involves a suspect being brought in front of a magistrate, who will then decide whether the authorities will be able to detain the suspect for a specific amount of time, explained a source.
Usually, a suspect is remanded as investigators need more time to question the person, or to gather sufficient evidence for possible prosecution.
In the case of Najib, he wasn’t remanded but was instead held overnight on Tuesday and immediately charged the next morning.
Similarly, Lim Guan Eng was never asked to wear the orange T-shirt with the words “Lokap SPRM” when he was in court to be charged for a corruption trial.
Lawyer N. Surendran said that until someone is convicted of any crime, they should not be forced to wear uniforms of any colour.
“This practice of making people wear these uniforms breaches the presumption of innocence,” he said.
Lawyer Syahredzan Johan, who is also the political secretary to Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang, praised the MACC’s decision not to handcuff Najib and to allow him to wear his own clothes when being taken to court.
He said he hoped that the MACC’s practice will be applied to other cases in future.