Can Najib stand as a candidate for the GE 15 election?
The answer to that depends on whether Najib will get his ‘free pardon’ before nomination day.
On 13 October 2022, En. Zamri Ramli, the Pekan UMNO division’s deputy head, announced that Najib’s name will be proposed as a potential candidate for the elections for the constituency of Pekan, Pahang.
Najib, the former, and convicted, Prime Minister, has been an MP for Pekan since 1976. He took a hiatus of four years between 1982 and 1986 when he was the chief minister of Pahang.
As matters now stand, Najib is a convict. On 28 July 2020, the High Court convicted Najib for abuse of power, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering.
The sums involved exceeded RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd. This is a tiny sum compared to the quanta of monies over other charges still pending against him.
The Court of Appeal dismissed Najib’s appeal against conviction and sentence on 08 December 2021. Similarly, the Federal Court dismissed his final appeal on 23 August 2022, upholding his conviction and sentence.In the SRC case, Najib was sentenced to imprisonment for 12 years. He was also fined RM210 million.
Because of this stiff sentence, Najib is constitutionally ‘disqualified’ from membership of parliament. [Article 48(1)(e), Federal Constitution.]
His imprisonment is for a term in excess of one year. The quantum of his fine is more than RM2,000.00.Because of these points, Najib is disqualified to stand as a candidate in the general elections.
As always, there is a catch.
Article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution gives him a way out.
If Najib receives a ‘free pardon’ – ‘free’ meaning ‘unconditional’ – pardon: and this too before nomination day, then Najib would be entitled to stand for elections.
This is because, under the law, a ‘free’ pardon, completely ‘wipes out’ his entire punishment. That has not happened. No pardon has, so far, been granted to Najib.
Now analyse what Zamri Ramli said:
Zamri said that there are no plans to substitute any of Najib’s children as the ‘holding-over’ candidate pending Najib’s pardon.
Although Zamri used the word ‘if’ in the sentence ‘if Najib is pardoned,’ the language employed by Zamri implies that the grant of a free pardon was more than a mere possibility. Why nominate Najib, then?
Zamri Ramli’s statement is a cause for some concern, that in fact, the King may grant a pardon, either before, or shortly after, the elections, to enable Najib to return to stand at Pekan. Just like what Anwar did in Port Dickson shortly after May 2018.
That remains to be seen.
As to Najib’s pardon, I have another video on that. Have a look!