Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is appealing last year’s conviction for theft of hundreds of millions of dollars. And he fights similar charges in four more trials. But there is one transgression he freely admits: the violation of a coronavirus rule in a restaurant.
“I confess,” he wrote his Facebook page on Friday. “I accept criticism and insight.”
The violation of mr. Najib occurred when he went to eat at the Chee Meng Chicken Rice Shop in Kuala Lumpur but did not register with the arrival of a telephone program. He calls it an ‘accidental mistake’.
A video widely shared on social media shows him and his entourage casually strolling into the restaurant.
He urged the authorities to issue the appropriate fine of about $ 365, saying he would use an “early-bird” special offered by the government. If he paid the fine within seven days, he would get a 50 percent discount.
“The police will call me,” he said in another post on Saturday. “I’m going to work together.”
“The police can at least identify me because of the HD video,” he added, looking at another politician accused of appearing in a low-resolution sex video but never being positively identified.
Due to the scandal over the lack of money from the government investment fund, 1Malyasia Development Berhad or 1MDB, the ruling coalition, Mr. Najib, for the first time since independence in 1957 lost his power over power in the election. He was deposed as prime minister but was elected by the district by parliament.
He is accused of withdrawing at least $ 4.5 billion from the fund he created and supervised. Allegedly, much of the money ended up in his personal account and in the possession of family members.
In July, he was convicted on seven corruption charges and sentenced to 12 years in prison. He was also fined almost $ 50 million.
In October, one of his trials sank for two weeks because Mr. Najib had to quarantine after traveling to the state of Sabah, a coronavirus site at the time. He is facing more than two dozen corruption charges in this trial.
Mr. Najib, who is trying to restore his reputation, seems to be using it the incident in the chicken rice shop as a way to highlight the special treatment of other dignitaries who violate the coronavirus regulations without penalties.
“No double standard in my case,” he said. “Other people, other parties, ministers I do not know.”