Anwar: Najib's Royal Pardon request to be considered when time is right

PUTRAJAYA: The request for a Royal Pardon by Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be considered when the time is right, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"We have taken it into consideration and I have said that every single person or convict has the right to appeal. We have to take the case into consideration and review it on a compassionate basis, professionally without prejudice," said Anwar.

The Prime Minister said this to reporters after launching the Labour Day celebration at Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) here on Monday (May 1).

He was asked to comment on the differing views among unity government coalition members regarding Najib's request for a Royal Pardon.

This comes after the Federal Court delivered a 4-1 majority decision on March 31 dismissing Najib's bid for leave to review his conviction and sentence in the RM42mil SRC International Sdn Bhd case.

Najib is currently serving out his 12-year jail term at the Kajang prison after his conviction was upheld by the Federal Court on Aug 23, last year.

Early last month, the Umno supreme council unanimously agreed to seek an audience to present an appeal to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to grant Najib a pardon.

This drew criticism from several quarters - including from Parti Amanah Negara - asking the King and the Pardons Board to reject the application for the former prime minister.

Amanah communications director Khalid Samad had said the party acknowledges and recognises that forgiveness is the absolute right of the King but added that it is of the view that pardoning Najib would send out the wrong message to the people.

On April 18, Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said political parties, especially those in line with Umno and Barisan Nasional, should refrain from commenting on the matter.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Barisan chairman, said that the decision to grant a Royal Pardon is now entirely up to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

On this, Anwar said the issue over Najib's request for a Royal Pardon was not brought up for discussion at their latest meeting.

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