Najib Applies To Attend Parliament Sitting, Rejected By DG Prisons

Najib’s lawyer Shafee Abdullah disagrees with “rejected for security reasons”, claims Parliament should be safe

KUALA LUMPUR — Former Prime Minister Najib Razak who is serving a 12-year sentence in Kajang prison for alleged involvement in the SRC International case has applied to attend the current sitting of Parliament as his status as the Member of Parliament (MP) of Pekan has yet to be revoked.

Najib’s lawyer, Shafee Abdullah at a press conference in the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Monday (03 Oct) said that the application was made to the Director-General (DG) of Prisons on 19 Sept to allow him to attend this session of Parliament which begins today (03 Oct).

“However, we have received the answer from the DG that the application is rejected for Security reasons.

“We do not agree with the reason given as Parliament should be the safest place for an MP who is imprisoned as compared to the current situation where Najib has been attending court sessions and medical check-ups at the hospitals,” Shafee said.

Adding on further, Shafee said that those places are more exposed to the public as compared to Parliament adding that they have sent a letter of appeal to Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin with the hope that the latter will respond by tomorrow. He said that if there is no further response or it’s in the negative, his legal team will then apply for a Judicial Review of the application.

When questioned by reporters on the grounds Najib had applied to be allowed to attend Parliament, Shafee said the latter remains an MP and that his client had cited Section 31 of the Prison Act.

Under Section 31, the prison commissioner-general has the power to order that a prisoner be taken to any place in Malaysia, if “satisfied that there are reasonable grounds requiring the presence of a prisoner” there or if the prisoner’s presence is required there “for the purpose of any public inquiry”.

Earlier, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun told the MPs that as long as the Prison authorities have given the green light, there should be no objection for Najib to attend the Parliament sitting until all pending outcomes of the petition for pardon are disposed of.

“All MPs have a right to attend Dewan Rakyat and they do not need my permission, that’s the general rule. So if Pekan wants to attend, it’s not under my jurisdiction or purview to say no or disallow or allow him in, these are not under my powers as Speaker.

“The question is whose custody is he under and that’s the Prisons Department. So if they want to let him out they must set the conditions, so again not under my powers,” Azhar told the Dewan Rakyat Monday (03 Oct).

Azhar was responding to Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (Pakatan Harapan-Sepang), who asked if Najib could be brought to the Dewan Rakyat.

The Dewan Rakyat is scheduled to meet from today to November 29. — NMH

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