Malaysia

Shadowed by ‘court cluster’, Ismail Sabri says Umno will follow due legal processes

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Shadowed by ‘court cluster’, Ismail Sabri says Umno will follow due legal processes

Dato Sri Ismail Sabri delivers a speech while campaigning at Kampung Datuk Keramat in Titiwangsa November 15, 2022. — Picture by Raymond Manuel

By Rex Tan

Wednesday, 16 Nov 2022 8:44 AM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — Caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob gave an assurance that he will continue to uphold the doctrine of separation of powers if reelected in the 15th general election.

The Umno vice-president said that his government has made it a point there would be no interference with law enforcement agencies and court cases, even when members of his party were involved.

“For those involved in graft trials, if they are proven guilty, they have to go through the legal process by themselves without involving the party,” he said in a televised interview last night.

Acknowledging the corruption and criminal charges against several high-ranking Umno leaders, including its president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Ismail Sabri said the individuals cannot seek the party’s aid and must follow the due processes of the law.

“We have three million members. If only three or four individuals are involved in corruption charges, you can’t say the other three million are corrupted,” he said when asked how he deals with the public perception of Umno as a corrupt party.

Ahmad Zahid is on trial for 47 counts of embezzling over RM31 million of funds from a charity foundation he founded called Yayasan Akalbudi.

He was recently acquitted of bribery charges over a government contract for a visa system, but the prosecution is appealing this.

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The most high-profile Umno member at the centre of the “court cluster” is former president and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is currently serving a 12-year jail sentence in Kajang Prison after being found guilty of stealing RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Najib is still on trial for several other cases related to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad financial scandal.

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