(UPDATED) PM: Govt affirms non-intervention in Pardons Board decisions

KAJANG: The affidavit submitted by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamdi, which confirmed an order granting house arrest to former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, was solely issued under his authority as Umno president.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim affirmed that the government respected the independence of the Pardons Board chaired by the King and would not intervene in its decisions.

He said the King's decisions during the meeting were final and will not be challenged by the government.

"He (submitted the affidavit) in his capacity as Umno president, with the Attorney General representing the Pardons Board.

"Our stance remains steadfast that decisions involving the Malay rulers will not be challenged. I refrain from further comments as this aligns with the government's longstanding principle since independence," he told reporters.

Anwar also declined to comment on whether he had sighted the addendum granting house arrest to Najib.

Anwar said the matter should not be prolonged, and it was imperative for all parties to acknowledge the decision made by the Pardons Board.

"It is crucial for all parties to accept this reality and remain focused on ensuring security, bolstering political stability, and advancing the development of the nation."

Previously, Zahid confirmed the existence of an addendum order from the former Yang di-Pertuan Agong allowing Datuk Seri Najib Razak to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest. 

The Umno president claimed the impugned document was shown to him by former Selangor Umno treasurer Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz at his house near Country Heights on Jan 30.

Media were also barred from attending the judicial review application of the former prime minister seeking to serve his remaining jail sentence under house arrest.

On Jan 29, Najib, the former Pekan member of parliament filed an application to compel the government to produce the impugned document which he said was not revealed by the authorities.

He named the Home Minister, Prison Department commissioner general, Attorney-General (AG), Federal Territories Pardons Board, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reform), Legal Affairs Division director-general, and the government as respondents.

Najib said he later instructed his solicitors to confirm the details of the addendum order with the AG by way of a letter dated Feb 14. 

The letter was copied to Anwar as well as Zahid.

The existence of the addendum order and its non-enforcement was escalated to the Home Minister on March 22.

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