Let courts decide, but DPM not keen on making circus of Najib’s trial

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail launches ‘Xtra20 and Myrailtime’ at KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur March 31, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail launches ‘Xtra20 and Myrailtime’ at KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur March 31, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today said it is up to the courts to decide whether or not to broadcast Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s corruption trials after the former prime minister backed calls for its “live” telecast.

The deputy prime minister however indicated that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government does not intend to make a “circus” of the proceedings.

“That is under their jurisdiction, and we should allow them to decide on whether to broadcast it or not,” she said of the courts when asked about Najib’s Facebook post earlier today in which he expressed support for a “live” broadcast of his upcoming trial over the case of RM42 million allegedly misused from a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

“Even though we feel there are people who want to know the proceedings of the trial of Datuk Seri Najib.

“We don’t want to make it as a circus. Let the law take its course for those involved,” Dr Wan Azizah added after launching the Xtra 20 KTMB discount card today at KL Sentral here.

Najib faces dozens of charges of criminal breach of trust, power abuse and money laundering over the use of funds linked to sovereign investment company 1MDB during his tenure as prime minister; seven of them concern SRC International Sdn Bhd.

The SRC International trial is set to begin this Wednesday, after a stay order was lifted by the Federal Court last week.

Najib himself today backed the suggestion to broadcast live his proceedings, saying it would help with transparency and the Rule of Law.

Meanwhile, Wan Azizah also commented on the calls to make the Councils of Eminent Persons (CEP) report public, saying she would bring it up with the Cabinet.

“The CEP, as I understand, we will have a Cabinet meeting and the Cabinet will then decide. I will also discuss it with the Prime Minister.

“There are some parts we are not done with, and if it contains any sensitive issues, we also have to take that into consideration,” she said.

The government’s decision to place the report under OSA has been met with criticism, including from Pakatan leaders who argue that the public have a right to know its contents.

The CEP report had been compiled by the council after meeting with more than 350 individuals from various industries during the first 100 days into Pakatan Harapan’s administration.