Federal Constitution gives power to grant pardons


  • Nation
  • Friday, 02 Feb 2024

KUALA LUMPUR: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the power to grant pardons, reprieves and respites in respect of all offences which have been tried by court-martial and all offences committed in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, while the Ruler or Governor of a state has similar power in respect of all offences committed in his state.

This is clearly enshrined in Article 42(1) of the Federal Constitution regarding the power of pardon.

Article 42(2), also stated that subject to Clause (10), and without prejudice to any provision of federal law relating to remission of sentences for good conduct or special services, any power conferred by federal or state law to remit, suspend or commute sentences for any offence shall be exercisable by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong if the sentence was passed by a court-martial or by a civil court exercising jurisdiction in the Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya and, in any other case, shall be exercisable by the Ruler or Governor of the state in which the offence was committed.

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Article 42 (3), on the other hand, stated that where an offence was committed wholly or partly outside the federation or in more than one state or in circumstances which make it doubtful where it was committed, it shall be treated as having been committed in the state in which it was tried.

For this clause, the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, shall each be regarded as a state.

Article 42 (5) stated the Pardons Board constituted for each state shall consist of the Attorney General of the Federation, the Chief Minister of the state and not more than three other members, who shall be appointed by the Ruler or the Governor.

Attorney General may, from time to time by instrument in writing, delegate his functions as a member of the Board to any other person, and the Ruler or Governor may appoint any person to exercise temporarily the functions of any member of the Board appointed by him who is absent or unable to act.

ALSO READ: Najib may walk out of prison before 2028, say lawyers

Article 42 (6) also explained that members of a Pardons Board appointed by the Ruler or Governor shall be appointed for a term of three years and shall be eligible for reappointment, but may at any time resign from the Board, and Article 42 (8) stated that the Board shall meet in the presence of the Ruler or Governor and that he shall preside over it.

According to Article 42 (9), before tendering their advice on any matter, a Pardons Board shall consider any written opinion which the Attorney-General may have delivered thereon.

Meanwhile, the power to grant pardons, reprieves and respites in respect of, or to remit, suspend or commute sentences imposed by any court established under any law regulating Islamic religious affairs in the state of Melaka, Penang, Sabah or Sarawak or the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya shall be exercisable by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as head of the religion of Islam in the states, as provided for under Article 42 (10).

ALSO READ: Najib gets reduction in jail time, fine

Article 42 (11) stated that there shall be constituted a single Pardons Board for the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya and the provisions of Clauses (5), (6), (7), (8) and (9) shall apply mutatis mutandis to the Pardons Board under this Clause except for that reference to "Ruler or Governor” shall be construed as reference to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and reference to "Chief Minister of the state” shall be construed as reference to the Minister responsible for the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.

Earlier on Friday, the Pardons Board for the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya announced that the former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is serving a 12-year prison sentence, will be released earlier, that is on Aug 23, 2028, after the Pardons Board in its meeting on Jan 29 decided to reduce his jail sentence by half.

According to the statement issued by the Pardons Board Secretariat, the fine to be paid by Najib is also cut to only RM50mil from the original RM210mil.

Najib, 70, who has been serving the jail sentence at the Kajang Prison since Aug 23, 2022, after being convicted of misappropriating RM42mil in SRC International funds, filed the petition for a royal pardon on Sept 2, 2022. - Bernama

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