Najib may lose Pekan seat in 14 days

A file photo of Najib during a BN convention this year. Photo credit: Najib Razak Facebook page

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KUCHING, Aug 24: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak could automatically lose his status as Pekan Member of Parliament (MP) in 14 days from today if no other court procedures are initiated or a royal pardon is given within that period.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun explained that this is in line with Article 48 of the Federal Constitution “which provides that an individual is disqualified as an MP if convicted and sentenced to more than a year in prison or a fine of not less than RM2,000, and does not receive a royal pardon”.

According to Berita Harian in a report today, Azhar said that at the moment, the Parliament needs to wait for an official notification to be issued by the Federal Court regarding the punishment handed down to Najib.

“Right now, there is no further appeal because the sentence has been meted out in the Federal Court, but Article 48(4) also mentioned that if there are any court proceedings, then Najib’s position remains until the proceedings are completed.

“I need to find out if there are any proceedings initiated, including a review, because the review is part of the court’s procedure.

“If included and Najib files a review within 14 days, then his position as Pekan MP remains until the review proceedings are completed

“At the same time, Article 48 also provides that if within 14 days there is an application for a royal pardon, then his position will remain until the pardon process is concluded,” he told Berita Harian.

After more than four years of being on, Najib lost his final appeal to overturn the 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine for misappropriation of funds involving SRC International Sdn Bhd, which was a former subsidiary of 1MDB, yesterday (Aug 23).

The five-member Federal Court panel chaired by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat after examining the merit of the main appeal in great detail unanimously ruled that Najib’s defence was inconsistent and failed to raise reasonable doubt, thereby upholding the earlier verdicts of the High Court and Court of Appeal that affirmed Najib was guilty.

When asked as to when the Parliament would receive the notification from the Federal Court on Najib’s sentencing, Azhar informed that it will be implemented as soon as possible.

Regarding the notification to confirm the Pekan seat is vacated, Azhar said he will make the announcement if Najib did not file a review, other proceedings or an application for pardon within 14 days.

“I have to wait 14 days, starting today. If everything provided for in the Constitution are not implemented within that period, then I will make a decision (for the Pekan seat to be vacated),” he added. — DayakDaily