The son of former Malaysian prime minister, and now incarcerated felon Najib Razak, has likened his father's experience to that of the first black president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.
"Same" thing that happened to Najib happened to Nelson Mandela
At the Solidarity for Najib event in Pekan, Pahang, on Sunday, Sep. 4, Mohd Nizar Najib invoked the example of the civil rights activist, who was instrumental in bringing an end to apartheid in the racially divided country.
"The same happened to Nelson Mandela, who was jailed for opposing apartheid and went on to become the South African president who reunited the country's people upon his release," he said, according to Malaysiakini.
He continued telling the crowd of Najib's supporters present that "God will not test his believers more than what they can take", adding that he wants them to rise above the challenges Najib is facing with his imprisonment.
He also said that Najib's imprisonment was perhaps God's way of bringing the former prime minister to a "higher level", and that he was sure Najib would emerge "better" after getting released from jail.
Nizar also remarked that not many politicians could "rise up after being globally shamed", referring to the Barisan Nasional's defeat in 2018's general election -- the first time the Umno coalition was voted out of government in 60 years.
Praised Najib for braving through the "pressure"
He further praised Najib for having braved the "continuous pressure" imposed by the courts, adding that if others had gone through the same experience, they would have "probably gone mad or fallen into a coma for months".
Nizar also said the large turnout at the event proved that the people of Pekan are always loyal to Najib, Sinar Harian reported.
He added that as a member of parliament (MP) who has served Pekan for 46 years, the people would continue to remember his father and miss him.
Najib was sent to prison on Aug. 23 after exhausting his appeals. Along with 12 years of imprisonment which he is currently serving, he was also slapped with a RM210 million fine (S$65.1 million).
He remains the MP for Pekan as he has filed a petition to obtain a royal pardon within 14 days after he was sent to prison. He will only lose the seat should the petition be rejected by the Malaysian king.
Najib, who was hospitalised on Sep. 4 for an unknown illness after two weeks in jail, was present in court on the morning of Sep. 5 for the ongoing 1MDB trial.
His daughter, Nooryana Najwa, said he has been facing stomach issues for years and that the last time his stomach ulcers bled in 2021, he was hospitalised after he felt faint due to internal bleeding.
Top image via Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images