KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — Barely 24 hours after disgraced former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak began his prison sentence, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob arrived at Umno headquarters for a political bureau meeting.

Ismail Sabri entered the main building in a black Audi A6 sedan, escorted by two police motorcades, through a private entrance at approximately 8.01pm.

Apart from the prime minister, former Terengganu mentri besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said was also sighted in the building’s compound at around the same time.

After more than three hours, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad was the first to leave the meeting but refused to address the media.


Moments later, Ahmad was seen exiting the main entrance where, when approached, he shot down the suggestion that Ismail Sabri might have been chided by his fellow party members during the meeting.

“No bashing whatsoever,” he told reporters outside the main entrance of the party headquarters.

Meanwhile, sources close to Umno revealed to Malay Mail that the notion of a royal pardon for Najib was not brought up during the meeting.


“They were questioning why the case seemed rushed but there was no talk of a royal pardon during the meeting,” the sources told Malay Mail.

Earlier today, former attorney general Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman reportedly said that Najib have to serve time first before writing to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah in a bid for clemency over his conviction in the SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption case.

The royal pardon falls under Article 42(1) of the Federal Constitution, which gives the Agong or Sultan the powers to grant a pardon or reprieve to a convict, wiping clean any legal punishments to provide a "clean slate".

Yesterday, Najib failed in his final appeal against the High Court's guilty conviction, which saw the Federal Court ordering him to serve his 12-year sentence with immediate effect. He was also fined RM210 million.

He had been found guilty of one count of abuse of power, three counts of criminal breach of trust, and three counts of money laundering.

Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said that the findings of the High Court on the defense were correct and that the learned trial judge had undertaken a thorough analysis of the evidence produced by the defense, correctly evaluating all the evidence led in relation to the defense and did not believe the defense narrative.

She also said that Najib had shown how his defense was inconsistent, incoherent and unworthy of belief, as submitted by the prosecution.

After spending an hour in the courtroom with his family, aides and fellow party members, he was driven to Kajang Prison to begin serving his sentence.