KUALA LUMPUR: There will be no political interference in the judicial system in relation to the case of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The caretaker Prime Minister said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and not Umno, is empowered to grant pardons.
“The government is consistent in its stand that it will not interfere in the judicial system. That is clear,” he told reporters after the launch of the new Angkasapuri Media City building complex here yesterday.
Ismail Sabri was asked to comment on claims on social media that if Barisan Nasional and Umno wins GE15, Najib would obtain a pardon and his parliamentary seat back.
He said Najib’s lawyers had taken their own steps to obtain a pardon and file an application for the Federal Court to review its own decision.
“The court will make a decision and we should let the judiciary come up with their own conclusions,” he added.
He said the Pardons Board would also make its own decision on Najib’s case.
“Umno has no power (to do such things), and we respect the judicial system. Umno has no power to simply release anyone (from prison),” he added.
Najib was sentenced to 12 years’ jail and fined RM210mil after he was convicted on seven charges brought against him for abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust over SRC International funds amounting to RM42mil.
He is currently serving his sentence in Kajang prison.
On GE15, Ismail Sabri said Barisan would need to cooperate with other coalitions such as Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), among others, if it cannot secure a simple majority in the elections.
However, he said such a cooperation would have to be determined by the party supreme council after the polls.
“If we only get about 80 seats, we cannot form a government. In order to do so, we need a simple majority of 112 seats.
“So we will have to cooperate with others.
“Whatever it is, let us wait for the outcome of the elections first, then the supreme council will make a decision,” said Ismail Sabri, who is also an Umno vice-president.
He was asked to comment on a prediction by political analyst Dr Azmi Hassan that Barisan is capable of securing between 80 and 85 of the 222 parliamentary seats.
On a separate matter, Ismail Sabri said the government had yet to discuss action to be taken against students who were found to have sold their PerantiSiswa tablets.
“We have not discussed the issue with the Higher Education and the Communications and Multimedia ministries. They will have to look into this,” he said.
He asked students who received the tablets not to sell the devices as it was the government’s aspiration to help the students from B40 households.
“The government is trying to help you.
“Don’t go selling the tablets for short-term profit because the long-term benefits of using the PerantiSiswa tablets for your education and for your future are far more important.
“Previously, we only wanted to loan out the tablets, but we decided to allow the students to keep them,” he added.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa confirmed that 14 cases of the sale of the tablets had been reported nationwide so far, and the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry was closely monitoring the development.
The issue emerged after the sale of these tablets meant for lower-income university students was revealed on online marketplace platforms.
Several screencaps of the tablets being sold at prices between RM800 and RM1,100 each were also seen.