KUALA LUMPUR : Datuk Seri Najib Razak has filed a court application to delay his trip to Singapore for the birth of his grandchild as he has been entrusted with overseeing Umno’s election machinery during next month’s Melaka state election.
This is due to recent developments following Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s scheduled departure for Germany for medical treatment at the same time.
In the application filed in the High Court yesterday sighted by Malay Mail, Najib is seeking several amendments to the dates that were permitted by the Court of Appeal on October 18.
This involves the dates concerning the return of his passport, his departure for Singapore and the return of his passport to court.
“Since Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi during the aforementioned period will be away in Germany for medical treatment, I have been entrusted with the responsibility to ensure Umno performs in an orderly and relevant manner during the Melaka state election during the absence of Ahmad Zahid.
“Therefore, I had to postpone my trip to Singapore until the state election concludes on November 20,” Najib said in his supporting affidavit.
Melaka goes to the polls on November 20. Early voting takes place on November 16, while Nomination Day has been set for November 8.
Ahmad Zahid is expected to travel to Germany to seek treatment for neck and back pain.
The court previously approved his request for the temporary release of his passport from October 26 to November 21 for this purpose.
At the same time, Najib said he is placing his faith in wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who will be departing for Singapore ahead of him to monitor his daughter’s condition while he remains in Malaysia.
He also affirmed that while his travel itinerary had to be rescheduled due to the present circumstances, the reasons sought for his passport’s temporary return remained unchanged.
“I require my international passport for renewal purposes and for me to seek clearance to lift the travel ban from the police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN).
“I strongly believe that while I may have been entrusted with various responsibilities in the present circumstances, my responsibility to my daughter must be prioritised as I cannot choose one over the other.
“Therefore the amendments sought are something performed in a reasonable manner for the sake of fulfilling the responsibilities delegated to me,” he added.
Prior to the amendments sought in the application filed, Najib’s passport was due to be returned to him by October 20 and he was expected to travel to Singapore on November 3.
He was also expected to return on November 20, with him returning the passport to the court on November 22.
In the latest amendments sought, Najib wants his passport to be returned by October 25 and for him to be allowed to travel to Singapore on November 21 instead.
He also said he would be returning his passport to the court by December 6 at the latest.
Najib’s application is scheduled to be heard on October 26 before three High Court judges at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex as he would need to apply for the same permission, where his other corruption and abuse of power trials are still ongoing, before making the trip to Singapore.
Najib’s application was filed through his legal counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s firm Shafee & Co, with him naming the public prosecutor as a respondent.
On October 18, the Court of Appeal allowed the release of his passport to enable him to visit his daughter, Nooryana Najwa, who is due to deliver her second child soon in Singapore.
The prosecution had not objected to the application and left the matter to the court.
In his supporting affidavit to the appellate court, Najib mentioned that his daughter suffered serious complications and that the impending birth carries its own set of risks, stressing that he wanted to be present to give her moral support.
The appeal was made at the Court of Appeal as Najib is awaiting the decision of his appeal against his conviction and sentencing for the SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption case, for which the High Court had earlier found him guilty.
On October 15, the High Court also permitted Rosmah to temporarily take back her passport so she can go to Singapore to be with Nooryana when the latter gives birth.
Nooryana married her husband, Daniyar Kessikbayev, a Kazakhstan national, in 2015. Both are currently residing in Singapore.
Kessikbayev is the nephew of former Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who stepped down from office in March of 2019 after nearly 30 years in power.
By : KENNETH TEE – MALAY MAIL