KUALA LUMPUR: Najib Razak has been hospitalised since Monday (Sep 12), said his legal team as it sought to postpone his 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) corruption trial.
Lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told the High Court on Tuesday that the former prime minister, 69, has to undergo several tests, which might take a few days.
“There are issues with his health, because he seems to have exhibited fluctuating blood pressure. The cause for it has not been detected, so they are doing their very best,” said Muhammad Shafee as quoted by Bernama.
He also informed the court that Najib, who is hospitalised at Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL), will be transferred to the National Heart Institute (IJN) later.
Deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustaffa P Kunyalam did not object to the postponement, and Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah then fixed Wednesday afternoon for mention to get an update on Najib’s condition.
According to Malaysian media, Najib's 1MDB trial was initially scheduled to take place from Monday to Thursday this week, with one prosecution witness testifying on money that flowed in and out of Najib’s previous personal bank account with AmIslamic bank.
The witness was expected to continue testifying on Tuesday.
On Monday, the trial was cut short when the High Court was told that the former prime minister’s health condition was “quite bad” and needed medical attention.
The prosecution team told the High Court judge that Najib needed to be sent to hospital for medical attention as the high blood pressure medication he was taking had given him adverse effects.
Najib’s daughter Nooryana Najwa said her father’s blood pressure turned “dangerously high” on Monday after doctors changed his medication when treating his stomach ulcer on Saturday.
In an Instagram post on Monday, she also said that Najib’s request for observation at Hospital Kuala Lumpur was denied and he was sent back to Kajang Prison, where he is currently serving a 12-year jail sentence after being convicted in another 1MDB-linked corruption case.
Later on Monday afternoon, the Health Ministry disclosed that Najib was admitted to HKL on Friday for an elective procedure to ensure his health would be at optimum levels.
The ministry said the type of medication prescribed to Najib while he was warded was the same type as what he had been using.
It also said Najib was in good health before he was discharged from the hospital.
The ongoing 1MDB trial is Najib’s second corruption case. He was accused of 25 charges of money laundering and abuse of power related to 1MDB funds totalling RM2.3 billion (US$510 million).
NAJIB GIVEN GENERIC MEDICINE WITH SAME FORMULA: KHAIRY
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on Tuesday denied allegations that Najib’s medicine was changed from his usual medicine.
He told reporters that Najib was given a generic high blood pressure medication when he was hospitalised at HKL, but the formula was the same as the medication that he was previously taking.
“He used to purchase his medication from a private hospital. The formulation of the medicine we gave him is the same as the medicine that he used to take,” Mr Khairy was quoted by the Star as saying after an event in Putrajaya.
“We gave the same. It is just generic. Generic is just as good,” he added.
Mr Khairy said that it is important to give an explanation as there were accusations by Najib’s aide and family members that his medication was switched to a different drug.