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Hanipa: Many grumbling why Najib not yet behind bars, but...

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Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Hanipa Maidin today acknowledged that he has received many questions on why Najib Abdul Razak, who is accused of stealing billions of ringgit from 1MDB, is not behind bars.

"The favourite question which is often asked is why the former prime minister is not yet in prison. Why is he still free to roam around and even campaign in a by-election?" he said in a statement on his Facebook page.

Although Hanipa noted that the question is legitimate, he stressed that people must understand the complexity of the legal process.

"Just because the former prime minister is charged with several criminal charges does not mean the claims do not need to be proven first.

"Due to his offence being bailable, he therefore has the right to be out on bail if he can afford the bail money and fulfil its conditions. 

"The bail can only be revoked if he breaches these conditions," his statement read.

Najib has been on a publicity blitz of late amid a slew of criminal charges against him.

Hanipa, the de facto deputy law minister, said while some people may want "rough justice", the Pakatan Harapan government is committed to upholding the rule of law.

"That is why we respect the principle of presumption of innocence, even for our political opponents."

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