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Najib video aired recently was recorded before he was jailed, says Malaysia prisons department

Najib video aired recently was recorded before he was jailed, says Malaysia prisons department

A screengrab of former Malaysia prime minister Najib Razak promoting the city of Pekan was aired on RTM TV1. (Image: RTMKlik)

SINGAPORE: Malaysia's prisons department said a video of former prime minister Najib Razak that was aired on national television on Monday (Oct 24) was recorded before he was incarcerated.

"The Malaysia Prisons Department would like to make it clear that no media agency recorded a video involving Dato' Seri Najib on prison premises as has been claimed," it said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

The statement said that the video was recorded by Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) before Najib was jailed, adding that it was part of an episode for a series called "Kembara Keluarga Malaysia" (Malaysia Family Travels), on places of interest in Malaysia.

The episode aired on TV1 talked about the history and background of the city of Pekan, Pahang and was "not related to politics", the department added.

The department issued the statement following reactions by some netizens who questioned whether the video was recorded on prison premises. 

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Najib, who was Pekan MP, is serving 12 years in jail after the Federal Court upheld his conviction and sentence by the High Court in a corruption case involving a former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) unit, SRC International.

The prions department said on Oct 11 that Najib will not be allowed to go out to campaign during this year's general election as long as he is still serving his sentence.

In August, it also denied rumours that Najib was given special treatment while serving his sentence, after a screenshot of a message went viral on social media alleging that he has not been housed in a jail cell.

The video on TV1, featuring aerial shots of Pekan, shows Najib sitting in a chair and promoting the city as an educational, royal and historical institution.

A narrator says the city has produced two prime ministers - Najib and his father Tun Abdul Razak Hussein - as pictures of their family and Najib serving the community are shown.

Najib's eldest son Nizar also features in the video, amid speculation that he could run as Barisan Nasional's Pekan candidate in the upcoming polls. Malaysian media, however, have said no decision has been made.

Netizens were not impressed with the RTM segment, with one of them, @The_Mamu saying on Twitter that Najib still appeared to be campaigning and did not seem to be in prison. The post has been retweeted more than 7,000 times.

The prisons department said people should not spread information without verifying it first. "Legal action could be taken against irresponsible people," it stated.

Source: CNA/hz(ih)

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