As former Prime Minister Najib Razak is waiting for a response on the royal pardon for his conviction in the SRC International case, Najib’s status as the MP for Pekan remains unchanged.
During the Parliament session on Monday (3 October), Sepang MP (PH) Mohamed Hanipa Maidin suggested that the former prime minister be allowed to attend Parliament sittings even though he has been imprisoned.
However, he said Najib must be handcuffed when attending proceedings in the lower house.
1. Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun says jailed Pekan MP Najib Razak does not need his permission to attend parliament meetings.— BFM News (@NewsBFM) October 3, 2022
Earlier, Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin said he was not opposed to Najib attending the sitting, but suggested that he did so in handcuffs. pic.twitter.com/1GojJIisuu
This came after Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun confirmed that Najib’s status as a federal lawmaker remains while waiting for a royal pardon of his 12-year sentence.
Hanipa also said that this will allow “the whole world” to see how a convicted lawmaker is still an MP.
Meanwhile, Azhar said that every MP has the right to attend the Parliament session and enter the lower house, but he has no power over the Prisons Department to request for his release.
“This doesn’t even require my permission – just like how you (Hanipa) came today; to enter the Dewan Rakyat you do not need my permission. If he shows up, then he does not need my permission to enter the house. But the question now is can he show up?”
“Deciding on that is not under my purview as he is not in my custody. Who has his custody? The Prisons Department has him in custody.”
“So, it is up to the Prisons Department to release him (Najib) from their custody to attend parliamentary meetings,” Azhar said, adding that if the Prisons Department allows it, it is they who will set the criteria for his release too.
What Malaysians think?
On social media, most netizens reject the idea of letting Najib attend Parliament is a disrespect to the house.
“If Najib is allowed to go to parliament, it’s a humiliation for the house,” a netizen said.
“This has got the be the joke of the year… a convicted criminal is still able to continue in his role as parliamentarian and make and amend laws for which he has shown complete disregard for… when the worst amongst us become leaders then you know where the road is headed…” a netizen said.
“From prison to parliament to prison… Imagine prisoners are also our legislators… What next? How low will the enablers go just to be a part of the gravy train?” one netizen asked.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!