Mahathir says King willing to grant full pardon for Anwar

13 May, 2018, 09:43 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Anwar's lawyer said he will not be released today

Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister of Malaysia, is due to be released from prison on Tuesday, his daughter has said.

The relationship between Anwar and Mahathir had remained bitter until this year, when in a bid to remove Najib, Mahathir joined the opposition to run as leader in the election.

The newly elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said at a press conference on Friday that the King of Malaysia has indicted to pardon Anwar but did not give a date for his release.

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Mahathir said the king has indicated he was willing to grant a full pardon to Anwar immediately. If indeed Anwar Ibrahim helms the government in due course of time, Mahathir will sacrifice the chance to right the wrongs that he was responsible for.

The southeast Asian nation's political landscape has been shaped for almost two decades by a feud between Anwar and Mahathir, whose decision to sack Anwar as his deputy sparked an opposition movement, Reformasi, or Reform, in 1998.

After Anwar's release in 2004, he jumped ship from the Barisan Nasional coalition of which he was once a leading member to galvanise the country's once disparate opposition into a potent force.

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Wan Azizah has served as party president and elected representative for over a decade.

Mahathir has been coy about how long he will stay in his new job.

Anwar will probably stand as a candidate in a by-election to become an MP before he is made a minister in Mahathir's cabinet. Malaysian Cabinets have in the past had more than 30 ministers. He indicated this could include Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali, who was appointed after Najib sacked the then-attorney general in 2015 to escape possible prosecution over a corruption scandal involving the 1MDB state fund. It was a major issue in the run-up to the election and played a major role in the ouster of Najib, Mahathir's former protegé. The fund was set up by Najib in 2009 to promote economic development but it accumulated billions in debts and is under investigations in the USA and other countries.

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The " Chinatown " director had been a member of the Academy for almost 50 years, earning his first of five nominations in 1964. Although he wasn't there to receive the award, the audience gave him a standing ovation in his absence.

Mahathir has said he would not go on a witch hunt but that Najib will be brought to court if there was evidence of wrongdoing.

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