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Getting royal pardon no easy feat

10 Sep 2017

Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali speaking at a press conference on October 13, 2015. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — Tan Sri Apandi Ali denied suggestions that getting someone a royal pardon is an easy affair, accusing those who claim so as trivialising the authority of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The Attorney-General (AG) wrote in an opinion piece in the Sunday edition of Berita Harian, BH Ahad, that the pardon cannot simply be applied at any time and it must go through a rigorous process.

“Statements made by some parties are as if belittling the powers of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to pardon any offender and as if the pardon application is an easy thing that can be done at any time.”

“The reality is not like that because it has to be done based on the declared rules, while the decision is based on certain deliberation,” Apandi wrote.

Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is currently serving his five-year jail term for sodomy, a sentence upheld by the Federal Court in February 2014.

Last year, PKR said if PH wins the 14th general elections, the pact could instruct the chief secretary, who would be head of the caretaker government, to apply for a royal pardon for Anwar, who is currently in prison for sodomy, on behalf of the new federal government.

PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli also suggested a plan that resembled his previous so-called “Kajang Move” on how Anwar can be made prime minister should PH in two weeks after the next polls.

In his article, Apandi said the power to pardon under Article 42 of the Federal Constitution requires the endorsement of a Pardons Board that includes the AG, Federal Territories minister, and no more than three other members.

Apandi said based on Regulation 114 of the Prisons Regulations 2000, an offender who is not facing death penalty does not have the liberty to apply for pardon at any time.

Anwar’s family filed the application for a royal pardon shortly after he was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for sodomy, but this was rejected.

Anwar’s attempt to challenge the Pardons Board following the rejection of his royal pardon application will now be heard before the Federal Court, following a Court of Appeal decision earlier this year.

“Whatever the Federal Court decides on this matter, the fact is the application and the granting of pardon is not an easy thing,” Apandi said.

source :  Malay Mail Online