Najib still Pekan MP and can attend Dewan Rakyat meetings, says Art Harun

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 29 Jul 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined RM210mil for abuse of power, can still carry out his duties as Pekan MP until the appeal process is completed, says Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun.

Azhar said the former prime minister could also attend Dewan Rakyat meetings which end on Aug 27.

“According to the provisions of the Federal Constitution, his status as MP has not changed until the appeal process is completed,” he told Bernama.

Article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution states that an MP will be disqualified if he is sentenced to more than one year in prison or a fine of more than RM2,000 and does not receive a pardon.

Meanwhile, lawyer Lim Wei Jiet explained that Najib would not lose his status as Pekan MP if he filed an appeal against the decision within 14 days.

Under Article 48(4)(b) of the Federal Constitution, the seat of an MP will not be vacant if he files an appeal within that period.

“He will only lose his seat if the appeals have been exhausted and the conviction is upheld by the appellate courts,” Lim said.

However, Najib will not be able to contest in any election for the next five years, unless his appeals are successful in court.

Yesterday, Najib was sentenced by the High Court to 12 years in jail and fined RM210mil for one count of abuse of power, 10 years each for three criminal breach of trust

charges, and 10 years each for three money laundering charges.

All jail sentences are to run concurrently.

The former prime minister’s next step will be to file an appeal at the Court of Appeal.

Lim said that for criminal cases of this nature, Najib did not need leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

If Najib’s appeal at this court fails, his case can also be heard at the Federal Court, if he chooses to do so.

(In the case of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, he lost his position as Permatang Pauh MP in May 2015 after the Federal Court reaffirmed the Court of Appeal’s guilty verdict with a five-year jail sentence.)

Najib, 67, will not be able to contest in the next general election if it is held while his case is still being heard in the courts.

The next general election will have to be called by September 2023.

Under Article 48(5), a person is “immediately” disqualified upon sentencing from being nominated, elected or being appointed to either the Dewan Rakyat or Dewan Negara.

Lim pointed out that Article 48(3) stated upon being disqualified, the person would not be able to run for office to be an MP for a period of five years from the date of his sentence.

However, the same Article states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is able to remove the disqualification under 48(1)(e).

The former Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V had in May 2018 consented to granting Anwar a full and immediate pardon for his sodomy conviction.
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