By Malaysiakini

Human rights lawyer Edmund Bon has called for the pardons system for convicted prisoners to be reformed, saying the system is flawed and needs much improvement.

“I hope the interest in the case of (ex-prime minister) Najib Abdul Razak will spur the government to look into pardons reform.

“And not to forget the others who have been waiting for their applications to be heard. It is unfair to expedite one man’s case just because he was formerly the PM.

“There are thousands of prisoners still waiting for their pardons to be heard and sometimes re-heard. You can file for a pardon as many times as you like.

“But the pardons system is flawed and needs much improvement. Sometimes it takes years for an application to be considered,” said Bon (above).

Najib has the option of filing a petition for a pardon with regard to the Federal Court upholding his conviction and sentence of 12 years in prison and a fine of RM210 million yesterday.

The former prime minister must file the petition within 14 days or lose his status as the Pekan MP.

The pardons are not a judicial process, which ended with the Federal Court, but an executive process where the executive may choose to remit, suspend, or commute the sentence.

If Najib were to be successful in his petition for a pardon, his imprisonment and fine could be reduced or suspended entirely.

The Pardons Board comprises the Attorney General, the federal territories minister, and three other members appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who presides over the board.

Petition to reject pardon

Meanwhile, an online petition by electoral watchdog Bersih that is requesting the Agong, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, to reject any pardons for Najib, was launched today.

“We, your loyal subjects, humbly appeal to Your Majesty, not to exercise your discretion to pardon former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak for his crime against the Malaysian public.

“He has been convicted of stealing public funds in the SRC International case and had been given due process of a fair trial.

“As the rakyat, we had to suffer the impact of corruption by elected officials who enriched themselves with our national wealth instead of using it to develop this country,” the petition read.