Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad seeks immediate pardon for Anwar Ibrahim

Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad seeks immediate pardon for Anwar Ibrahim

Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad seeks immediate pardon for Anwar Ibrahim

Malaysia's famed jailed politician Anwar Ibrahim, once the country's opposition leader and deputy prime minister, is slated to be released from prison next Tuesday (May 15).

It was the latest dramatic development after Mahathir Mohamad's alliance inflicted a shock defeat on the long-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, ending the corruption-riddled regime's six-decade stranglehold on power.

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 South-east Asian nation's political landscape has been shaped for almost two decades by a bitter feud between Mr Anwar and Dr Mahathir, whose decision to sack Mr Anwar as his deputy sparked an opposition movement, Reformasi, or Reform, in 1998. A full pardon by the king would mean Anwar can return to active politics.

"The process for Anwar's release and royal pardon has started". 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.

In 2015, Anwar was jailed for five years for sodomising a former aide, a charge he described as a politically motivated attempt by the former Prime Minister Najib Razak to end his career.

She is also the first female Deputy Prime Minister in Malaysia.

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar addresses the media at Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital.

"Mahathir has proven his tenacity, accepted past limitations, apologised and sacrificed his time and energy to raise the dignity of the people and the country", Anwar said.

Under Malaysian law, Anwar is disqualified from running for office for five years after his release, unless he is pardoned by the King.

Mahathir said initial policies would focus on fulfilling promises made in alliance's manifesto, including the abolition of a goods and services tax (GST).

Mahathir said the country's attorney general was wrong to clear Najib in the 1MDB probe in 2016.

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