PETALING JAYA: The Pekan parliamentary seat need not be vacated even though its MP Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s conviction in the SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption case was upheld, says a lawyer.
Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali said the seat would only become automatically vacant if the Federal Court, as the final avenue of appeal, were to uphold the High Court’s conviction.
“Article 53 of the Federal Constitution states that the Pekan parliamentary seat will not automatically become vacant in the event Najib files an appeal to a superior court, which in this case is the Federal Court.
“It will only become empty automatically if Najib does not make any appeal at the Federal Court, or the Federal Court upholds the High Court’s decision,” said Muhammad Rafique, who is also the Federal Territories Parti Pejuang Tanah Air deputy chief.
He said for now, Najib could still attend Dewan Rakyat sessions as a Member of Parliament.
“Article 48 (4) (b) of the Federal Constitution states that the effective date of disqualification for Najib as the Member of Parliament for Pekan is until the highest court makes a final decision.
“Therefore, he can still attend the Dewan Rakyat session, debate and vote on any motion and other,” said Muhammad Rafique in a statement.
Earlier, the Court of Appeal upheld the conviction and sentence of Najib in the SRC International case, where the former prime minister was found guilty of misappropriating RM42mil from the company’s coffers.
It also allowed an application by Najib to stay the execution of his jail time pending an appeal with the Federal Court.