Allowing Najib to travel but blacklisting PTPTN loan defaulters shouts double standard – C4 Center
19 Oct 2021
By Ilona Andrew
KUALA LUMPUR: The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) said it was appalled that former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been allowed his passport to travel as he has already been convicted of serious corruption and criminal breaches of trust.
In a statement today, the center questioned how Najib, who owes the government such a hefty sum, is allowed to leave the country while PTPTN loan and income tax defaulters get blacklisted.
“While the blacklist for PTPTN loan defaulters has since been overturned, this still represents a gross iniquity in treatment. Double standards in the execution of the law will greatly affect the upholding of the rule of law.
“Should it really be a case of class and caste, action has to be taken to protect the judiciary against the pulling of strings and offering of favours, to ensure that justice is meted out properly, with the punishment fitting the crime,” it said.
The center also found it illogical that a convicted criminal who is barred from contesting in the coming general elections is allowed to travel overseas.
Hence, it urged the Attorney-General Chambers (AGC) and the prosecution team to explain to the public why there was no objection to Najib’s application for temporary custody of his passport.
“There are real reasons for concern about flight risk, as he is appealing his conviction, and continues to face more daunting charges in court, all related to 1MDB and its subsidiaries. He is also appealing an amount of RM1.7 billion of fines to be paid to the Inland Revenue Board.
“In addition, the 1MDB scandal was again named in the Pandora Papers, and linked to Russian and Indian frauds, signaling no end to this gargantuan financial heist, of which he is a central figure,” it said.
Aside pleading the AGC to again clarify what measures are in place to ensure Najib does not slip away, the center also urged the government led by Prime Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri to assure Malaysians that the Pekan MP must account for his misdeeds and cannot be given preferential treatment.
On Monday, the Court of Appeal has granted Najib temporary custody of his passports to visit his daughter in Singapore. She was said to be expected to give birth to her second child in early November.
The decision was reached unanimously by a three-member bench led by Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Seri Kamaludin Md Said.