Respect the pardon process, says Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said everybody must respect the pardon process.

"I think the process has to be respected, it's beyond the Prime Minister or the government. I respect the decision of the then King and now we have a new King.

"Whatever one feels, of course it is very political, some (would) support, some don't, but they cannot ignore the fact that you must respect the rights of everyone (who has been) convicted to appeal to the Pardons Board," said Anwar in an interview with Al-Jazeera this afternoon.

He was commenting on the decision of the Federal Territories Pardons Board to reduce former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's 12-year jail term to six as well as reducing his fine to RM50 million.

"Now, the Pardons Board has made the decision. If one is satisfied then it is fair, if not satisfied, he or she still has the avenue to appeal at the later stage," said Anwar

The prime minister said Najib has gone through the legal process and is now in prison.

"But it's the right of every citizen who is being convicted to appeal to the King. I used to sit in the Pardons Board as a minister in charge of Kuala Lumpur, and now it's being held by someone else," said Anwar.

He said the King, as a constitutional monarch, consults the Attorney General, the Prime Minister and many (others).

"He is, of course, the bastion, and (have) to uphold the constitution and the rule of law.

"And all of the considerations are taken into account and then the King, after listening to the board, finally decided to reduce the sentence by 50 per cent, which means in 2028, Najib will be released.

"If the RM50 million is paid, then he will be released in August 2028. But if it is not paid, then it will be extended another year to 2029," said Anwar.

He also said there is an ongoing case in court through independent judicial process which has to continue.

"At the same time, Najib has every right to again appeal to the new King," said Anwar.

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