Najib walking about like a ‘free man’, says Mahathir

PETALING JAYA: Two political veterans have expressed concerns about the political ambitions of Datuk Seri Najib Razak even after the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s conviction of him over the misappropriation of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said although he agreed that the judge had every right to grant a stay of execution pending appeal to the Federal Court, the decision made Najib appear like “an innocent man”.

The elder statesman noted that “even people who are guilty of 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 questioned whether Najib would be able to contest in the 15th General Election if he is allowed to remain as an MP.

“If he wins, can he also become prime minister?” Dr Mahathir said.

DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang said the Court of Appeal judgement had reinforced people’s faith in the rule of law.

“The judgment has also given hope to the people that it is possible to get rid of kleptocracy and successfully fight corruption in Malaysia,” he said in a statement.

The Iskandar Puteri MP also said the decision had scuppered the campaign of Najib’s loyalists to make him prime minister again in GE15 but “there will still be attempts to resuscitate it”.

Yesterday, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s conviction and sentence of Najib on the RM42mil SRC International power abuse, criminal breach of trust and money laundering case.

The court allowed Najib’s application for a stay of execution pending appeal in the Federal Court.

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