Speaking at the UMNO’s special briefing on Saturday (27 August), its president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi called on its party members to launch a petition to push for former prime minister Najib Razak’s royal pardon.
In his speech, he also asked for all branch and division members to show their support for Najib who began his 12-year jail term on 23 August 2022.
In addition, he also advises its members to compile and use Najib’s Facebook posts to be made ‘weapons’ against its political enemies, as ‘thought and spirits behind the words can be used as a weapon’.
Meanwhile, Zahid is currently facing 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million (RM42 million) from UKSB as an inducement for himself in his capacity as a civil servant and then home minister.
In addition, he is also charged with another seven counts as the home minister who obtained S$1.15 million, RM3 million, S₣15,000 and US$15,000 in cash from the same company for himself in connection with his official work.
He is accused of committing all the offences at Seri Satria, Presint 16, Putrajaya, and Country Heights, Kajang, between October 2014 and March 2018.
Responding to Zahid’s call, Klang MP Charles Santiago criticised Zahid and said he is trying to manipulate social media as a tool to fool the people just like Najib did.
“Najib’s case is not complicated. Zahid Hamidi is simply playing to the people’s gallery, especially those who don’t quite understand why the Federal Court disallowed admission of new evidence or adjournment. Also, is Zahid doing this only to free Najib? Nope. It’s to save his own skin as well,” he was quoted as saying by FMT.
At the same time, the Bar Council also expressed disagreement that politicians should make statements against Apex Court decisions, including one against former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that was delivered earlier this week.
The council’s president Karen Cheah Yee Lynn said that UMNO’s loud stand against the Federal Court decision recently constituted an attack against the judiciary.
She said politicians should not try to win the court of public opinion by issuing statements without understanding the application of the law, as such behaviour is tantamount to an attack on the independence of the judiciary and rule of law.
“While responsible criticism of a decision or judgment is permissible, we reiterate that politicians shouldn’t be making scurrilous remarks against their authority, as it may pollute public opinions against the highest institution that dispenses justice in accordance with the law.
“Unjustifiable statements only serve to poison the well, as judges cannot publicly defend themselves,” she was quoted as saying.
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