Jailed ex-Malaysia PM has a problem with this Netflix show

Malaysia’s jailed former prime minister Najib Razak wants the newly released Man on the Run documentary dropped from Netflix for contemptuous content that his lawyer said would be prejudicial against his ongoing trials.

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak speaks to journalists.(Reuters)

Interviews featured in the documentary on the multibillion-dollar 1MDB scandal suggest Najib was at the center of the fraudulent scheme, his lawyer, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, said in Kuala Lumpur on Monday. This is a matter for the courts alone to decide, he added.

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“I have made an application in the court so that the program titled Man on the Run on Netflix is removed from Netflix’s program, at least in Malaysia, for reasons that it is contemptuous of court,” Shafee said at the briefing streamed live on Facebook.

1MDB was a national strategic development company that took shape in 2009 under Najib, who led its advisory board as prime minister and finance minister. Najib is serving a 12-year prison term over the transfer of 42 million ringgit ($9 million) belonging to former 1MDB unit SRC International. Najib, who has maintained his innocence, faces several other 1MDB-related trials.

A representative for Netflix in Asia couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

The documentary included “rather unfair” comments from interviewees, such as suggestions that the entire scheme was a decision between Najib and fugitive businessman Jho Low, said Shafee. They also linked Najib to the murders of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu and deputy prosecutor Kevin Morais, he said, adding that such claims were false and unrelated to 1MDB.

“From a simple 1MDB case, Najib is now being insinuated to be a serial killer,” Shafee said. “Many things seem to be up against him.”

Najib was also interviewed for the documentary prior to his jailing in Aug. 2022. The directors approached him and he agreed to participate after being told the program would only be about Low, Shafee said.

“Everything Najib said in the program was 100% true,” the lawyer said. “I watched it, and everything Najib said, we can justify.”

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