PETALING JAYA: The decision to allow former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to remain free pending his appeal against his conviction at the Federal Court has been questioned by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
While the elder statesman agrees that the judge has every right to grant a stay of execution, Dr Mahathir said the decision makes Najib appear like an “innocent man”.
“There has not been a bigger criminal case like the one committed by Najib. The United States’ Department of Justice calls it a world record.
“But even people who are guilty for smaller offences are not granted a stay of execution like this.
“Najib might have to wait a year or more before his case gets to the Federal Court. Until then, he is free like an innocent person,” wrote Dr Mahathir on his blog.
The Parti Pejuang Tanah Air chairman also cynically pointed out that Najib could be the first “prisoner” to become a prime minister, if he is allowed to contest in the next election.
“If Najib is allowed to remain as a Member of Parliament, will he also be able to contest in the 15th General Election?
“If he wins, can he also become prime minister?
“If that happens, praise be to God. Malaysia will create a new record for awarding a convict with the post of prime minister,” said Dr Mahathir.
On Wednesday (Dec 8), the Court of Appeal upheld Najib’s conviction and sentence in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case for misappropriating RM42mil from the company's coffers.
The court allowed Najib’s application for a stay of execution pending appeal in the Federal Court.