Hit with hefty bail amounts over multiple money-laundering charges, former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak is seeking public donations to assist him through a fund set up by his daughter Nooryana Najwa.
In a Facebook post, Najib said the fund, established by his daughter and local NGO Gerakan Belia Sejagat, was also intended to defend other "anti-government activists" who have purportedly been silenced by the present administration.
"To be honest, we are faced with financial pressure due to the legal costs and high bail amounts," said Najib, who, together with his wife Rosmah Mansor, had collectively posted RM6.5 million bail for their multiple charges.
Najib is currently facing 32 charges for alleged offences related to 1MDB and its former subsidiary SRC International, while Rosmah has been charged with 17 counts of money laundering.
He said that the bail posted so far had been raised with the assistance of close friends and family members.
"...but if possible we don't want to burden them further. If it is not too much to ask, it would be welcomed if there are those among you who wish to assist by also donating to this fund."
On other beneficiaries from the fund, Najib cited an unidentified person who he said is currently being sued by Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), for allegedly criticising the Selangor government in relation to frequent water disruptions in the state.
Najib said, however, that the people should prioritise more urgent matters if they are similarly faced with financial constraints.
"Nevertheless, I would like to say thank you to all who have constantly prayed for me and my family," he added.
Nooryana had separately shared a Facebook post by former Federal Territories Umno Youth chief Mohd Razlan Rafii who is on the secretariat for the 'Tabung Solidariti DSN & Keluarga 2.0' fund.
Razlan expressed hope that the people would assist Najib in a show of solidarity.
"It (the fund) could also give courage to other activists who are critical of the government, on the critical principle of check and balance in a democracy like our country," he said.
Last Saturday, Nooryana claimed that banks had rejected the family's bid to open a fresh account to receive public donations for her parents' bail.
She then called on banking institutions to forsake any fear of "government pressure or reprisal" and to come to the family's aid "in the interest of fairness."