Anwar Ibrahim has welcomed a High Court decision today calling for Najib Razak to make his defence against corruption charges, saying it was part of due process under the rule of law.
But he also make a snide reference to the prospect of prison time for the former prime minister, without referring to him by name.
Speaking to a large crowd at a ceramah for the Tanjung Piai by-election, Anwar reminded the crowd of his own time spent in prison on sodomy and corruption charges during the years of the Barisan National government.
He said his prison cell was now empty and would be filled by the person now involved in the court case.
“I didn’t come here to talk about prison, because people are bored with such tales. It’s been more than 10 years being in an out of prison,” said Anwar, who has received a royal pardon for his conviction.
“Now that cell is empty, and it’s your fate now,” he said to thunderous applause. More than 500 people attended the ceramah, at which the PH candidate, Karmaine Sardini, and the president of Amanah, Mohamad Sabu, were present.
Anwar said the case against Najib should go through the full legal process.
“Some people say it is taking too long,” said Anwar, who is PKR president. “But that is the kind of country we want, we cannot make changes in the blink of an eye,” he said in a reference to Pakatan Harapan’s pledges of carrying out reforms.
Earlier today, the High Court called on Najib to make his defence against seven charges of corruption involving RM42 million in funds belonging to the government-linked company SRC International Sdn Bhd.
Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali held that the prosecution had successfully proven a prima facie case against Najib.
Anwar acknowledged that during the process of reformation, there might be the occasional slip-up. However, what would be worse would be for the country to be looted without the knowledge of the people.