Umno President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has recently advocated for the dismissal of charges against former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was imprisoned for corruption in the past year. Emphasizing the need for justice, Zahid asserted that the charges against Najib were a form of persecution. He supported his claim by referring to a purportedly leaked 12-page memo from the Attorney General’s Chambers, which he believes would exonerate Najib from the accusations related to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.
Zahid, who also holds the position of Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister, expressed his belief that the Attorney General’s Chambers should thoroughly review the charges against Najib. He conveyed confidence that if the memo’s authenticity is confirmed, the AGC would promptly take action by dropping the charges.
The alleged internal memo, spanning 12 pages, was reportedly addressed to the former Attorney General Tommy Thomas and dated September 10, 2019. The memo’s content remains undisclosed.
The 1MDB scandal has had wide-ranging implications and garnered significant attention both within and beyond Malaysia. The scandal involves alleged embezzlement of funds from the state investment fund, with Najib Razak being a central figure in the case. The charges against him include corruption, abuse of power, and bribery.
It is worth noting that Malaysia’s Attorney General, Idrus Harun, made the decision to remove Deputy Public Prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran from a corruption case involving Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamid. Raja Rozela had applied for early retirement, leading to concerns about potential political interference in the case. This trial holds considerable significance and has drawn parallels with the 1MDB scandal in terms of public attention and prominence.
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, a significant political figure within Umno (United Malays National Organisation), plays a crucial role in Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s administration, which includes former rivals from Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. Previously a deputy to Prime Minister Najib Razak, Ahmad Zahid himself faced legal charges in 2018, involving multiple counts of corruption, abuse of power, and bribery linked to a family-owned charity foundation. Attorney General Idrus Harun’s decision to approve Raja Rozela’s retirement application raised concerns regarding the perception of judicial independence and potential political influence.
As Malaysia approaches upcoming elections, Umno is grappling with challenges such as a declining support base among Malays and the need to shape a more favorable public image.
Please note that this summary is based on the provided information and available context up to August 29, 2023.