Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak left a solemn pre-recorded message hours after he was arrested from his private residence in Kuala Lumpur, containing what could be his final words to the public before being taken to court on Wednesday (Jul 4).
The nearly 2.5-minute video posted on his Facebook and Twitter pages on Tuesday (Jul 3) features an audio recording by Najib played against a montage of photos and videos of him in several key events as well as lighthearted moments.
In what seems like an utterly grim start to his message, Najib said: “My dear Malaysians, if you are listening to this message, it means action has been taken against me.”
He went on to say that Malaysians deserved the best leadership and offered apologies for his faults.
“I would like to seek forgiveness from the people…the rakyat (people) deserve the best leaders,” he said.
“I have done my best. However I realise it was not enough and I admit there were many weaknesses.”
In spite of his shortcomings, Najib continued to defend his innocence with regards to the 1MDB scandal which saw hundreds of millions of dollars supposedly siphoned from the state investment fund into his personal bank accounts.
Najib called for Malaysians to avoid taking the ongoing allegations against him as gospel.
“I am not perfect, I am only human. However, please believe that these levelled against me and my family are not all true.”
He pointed out that there had apparently been a proliferation of fake news and images of him being circulated which he said were “false, convoluted and slanderous”.
Najib said investigations into the matter should be conducted first, further noting that he did not have the chance to defend himself.
He also openly accepted his defeat in the 14th general election and lamented that the loss had unleashed a slew of allegations against him.
Referring to his arrest and eventual court trial, Najib wrote in his Facebook post: “Today is the day my family and I face the trials of life.”
Najib was officially charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust on Wednesday, each carrying a possible penalty of up to 20 years behind bars.
He was also charged with one count of using his position in office for gratification which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years and a fine equivalent to five times the value of the siphoned money.