Najib still unable to run for election despite getting clemency

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Razak will not be able to contest in an election or hold public office for five years after his sentence ends, say lawyers.

He is ineligible to do so as he was not granted a full pardon, said senior lawyer Datuk Dr Baljit Singh Sidhu.

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Senior lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said the five-year disqualification starts after Najib completes his sentence.

This is spelt out under Article 48 of the Federal Constitution, he said.

“But that disqualification (to stand for election) can be waived by the King under Article 48(3). That is why it is called a free pardon,” he added.

Under Article 48, individuals who were convicted of an offence that carries a jail term of more than a year or fine of more than RM2,000 and have not received a pardon would be disqualified from contesting in elections for five years.

ALSO READ: Lawyers anticipate Najib may be out on good behaviour by 2026

However, Mohamed Haniff said the pardon granted to Najib did not entail a free pardon.

Citing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s royal pardon in 2018 as an example, Mohamed Haniff said unlike Najib, Anwar was granted a free or full pardon.

Then Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V granted Anwar a full pardon in May 2018 when he was serving his second prison sentence after a sodomy conviction.

Mohamed Haniff said the free pardon also meant that all of Anwar’s sentences were cancelled.

Anwar went on to contest in the Port Dickson by-election.

However, in the case of Najib, his sentence was only reduced and there was no mention of a full pardon.

The next general election must be held by 2027.

With Najib unable to contest or hold public office for five years, it is highly unlikely for Najib to contest in that general election.

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