Opposition MP slams Najib's appointment as BN backbenchers chairman

KUALA LUMPUR – Opposition veteran politician Lim Kit Siang on Monday (Nov 2) urged the Malaysian Parliament not to recognise the appointment of former prime minister Najib Razak as the chairman of Barisan Nasional Backbenchers’ Club (BNBBC), saying that any recognition will plunge the legislative institution into “new shame and infamy.”

Mr Lim’s statement comes following media reports on Sunday that Najib’s appointment to the post will allow him to coordinate matters with BN backbenchers.

As chairman, Najib will be able to decide the order of the BN debaters and to relay instructions to them on what topics they should raise during parliamentary debates.

This is the first time a convicted leader was appointed to the post.

Najib, 67, was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million (S$68.89 million) in July in the first of five trials he faces relating to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) graft scandal.

The former premier remains free as he was granted a stay of execution pending his appeal against the verdict.

Najib also faces several other trials connected linked to 1MDB.

Mr Lim, who is a Member of Parliament for the Democratic Action Party (DAP), said on Monday that Najib’s appointment is doubly shocking and shameful as it is proof that public integrity and anti-corruption are furthest from the principles and vision of Umno, the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) – the three founding parties of BN.

“Najib’s appointment as BNBBC Chairman and Parliament’s recognition of this appointment is completely antithetical to the task of ‘making the people of Malaysia whole’,” he said.

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