KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — An online petition addressed to Istana Negara requesting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah reject any opportunity to pardon former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was launched today.

As of 4pm today, the petition, which was started by electoral watchdog Bersih, had garnered over 10,000 signatures out of its 15,000 target on the website change.org, a popular site for hosting digital petitions.

"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.

The petition said Najib has "brought shame" to the country, and as a nation, Malaysia must not tolerate corruption or the corrupt, "whoever that person may be".

"Let Najib serve his 12 years in jail and pay the RM210 million fine so as to serve as an example to any leaders who think they can corruptly abuse their position of authority," it added.

An image accompanying the petition by Bersih to deny Datuk Seri Najib Razak any chance of royal pardon.
An image accompanying the petition by Bersih to deny Datuk Seri Najib Razak any chance of royal pardon.

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, when Najib’s lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik asked for a stay of the jail sentence and fine while his client pursues a review of the Federal Court’s decision, Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat dismissed this as there is no provision for such a stay.

Najib had failed in his final appeal against the High Court's guilty conviction in his SRC International case, 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.

After spending an hour at the courtroom with his family, aide and fellow party members, he departed to Kajang Prison to serve his sentence.