‘Respect board’s decision’

Field test: Fahmi (right) observing the Cellular Service Quality Test from Kuantan to Felda Bukit Goh. — Bernama

KUANTAN: Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil has called on all parties to respect the Pardons Board’s decision on former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and refrain from making comments over the matter, especially on social media.

Citing Article 42(1) of the Federal Constitution, he said, it stipulated that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had the power to decide on the matter and that it could not be questioned in court.

“If we overreact, action can be taken either by the police or the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC),” he added.

“So, don’t let there be a violation of the law, manners or morals and don’t touch on the 3R issues – race, religion and royalty. This is a reminder to everyone,” Fahmi said.

“I urge all quarters to be careful,” he said after conducting a Cellular Service Quality Test at the Felda Bukit Goh Digital Economy Centre (PEDi) here yesterday.

Present at the event were the ministry’s secretary-general, Datuk Mohamad Fauzi Md Isa, MCMC head of coordination division in Pahang, Bukhari Yahya, and Bernama editor-in-chief Nur-ul Afida Kamaludin.

When asked about the response by certain quarters, especially Umno, which sought for the former prime minister’s release, Fahmi said he was optimistic that the party leaders in the government would manage the matter together.

“This togetherness, in my opinion, will be a strength,” he said, Bernama reported.

“The issue is that we need to explain the process and what can be done. We cannot go beyond the limits of the law, the Constitution and we respect the institutions that made the decision.”

On Friday, the Pardons Board announced that Najib’s prison sentence had been reduced from 12 to six years and the fine reduced to RM50mil from the original RM210mil.

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

On July 28, 2020, the High Court sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and fined him RM210mil.

His appeal against his conviction and sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in 2021, and Aug 23 of the following year by the Federal Court, leaving only a royal pardon as his last avenue for freedom.Meanwhile, Fahmi hopes the political leadership, including those from the “same party as him”, will self-reflect and not be too quick in making comments that can hurt friends in the Madani government.

He was referring to Pasir Gudang Member of Parliament Hassan Karim’s statement to the media a few days ago for Umno to change its leader.

“The statement is his personal view and not representative of the party,” Fahmi said, adding that he had given Hassan a stern warning.

“Don’t meddle in other parties’ business. He is a friend and a person I respect and with principles, but his way is not helping,” said Fahmi.

“If we do that, there are parties who will take advantage of it.”

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