Najib postpones Singapore trip to help Umno in Melaka polls

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak had been allowed temporary access to his passport for him to travel to Singapore to visit his daughter. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is seeking to push his trip to Singapore to a later date to assist Umno in the Melaka state election next month.

Najib, 68, has been allowed temporary access to his passport by the Court of Appeal on Oct 18 for him to travel to Singapore to visit his daughter Nooryana Najwa, who is due to deliver her second child.

In his amended notice of motion, Najib sought a court order to have his passport returned to him from Oct 25 until Dec 12.

In his initial application that was allowed, Najib was to have access to his passport from Oct 20 and the passport should be returned on Nov 22.

The former Umno president said in his supporting affidavit that after obtaining the Court of Appeal's approval, he was informed of the development of the state election that would take place on Nov 20 while nomination day would be on Nov 8.

"Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will be leaving for Germany for medical treatment during (the) said time and I have been entrusted to ensure that Umno, during the Melaka state election, will act in an orderly and appropriate manner during his absence. Therefore, I have to postpone my trip to Singapore until after the state election on Nov 20," he said in his affidavit.

"At the time where I have to carry (out) my duty in Malaysia, I place my trust in my wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor who will push off to Singapore first to monitor Nooryana's condition while I am still in Malaysia. I will follow... as soon as I complete my obligation here," he added.

During an open court proceeding on Friday (Oct 22), Najib's lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah informed the court that they have filed an application to amend the travel dates.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Ashrof Adrin said the prosecution would await instructions from the Attorney General.

High Court judge Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan then fixed Oct 26 for hearing of the application.

On Oct 15, Justice Mohamed Zaini allowed Rosmah's application for temporary access of her passport for her to travel to Singapore between Oct 22 and Nov 21. She was ordered to return her passport to the court on or before Dec 6.

Rosmah is facing one charge of soliciting RM187.5million (S$60.4 million) and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5million from Jepak Holdings' former managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin, allegedly through her former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor; as a reward for helping the company secure a solar hybrid project for 369 Sarawak rural schools worth RM1.25billion from the Education Ministry through direct negotiation.

At the same court, Najib is on trial for allegedly using his position to order amendments to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) final audit report before it was presented to the Public Accounts Committee to avoid any action being taken against him.

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