Malaysia's Reformist Icon Anwar Ibrahim Freed From Prison After Receiving Royal Pardon

16 May, 2018, 08:08 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • The Pardons Board will only convene to consider Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s possible release on Wednesday PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said today

Anwar emerged from the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital on Wednesday after Malaysia's Pardon Board, which included the current King, chose to overturn the 2015 conviction, which is widely accepted to be politically motivated.

Smiling and waving to supporters, Anwar, dressed in a black suit and tie and his hair neatly swept back, was surrounded by his family, lawyers and prison guards before driving to the palace for an audience with King Sultan Muhammad V. He was greeted at the palace by new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, his ally-turned-foe-turned-ally, with whom he joined forces to oust scandal-tainted Najib Razak's administration in last week's election.

PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution said Mr Anwar was expected to be released after the Pardons Board meets at 11am on Wednesday to discuss the application for his release and full pardon.

That conviction is viewed by many in Malaysia as politically motivated, orchestrated by the previous government in a bid to decapitate Anwar's rising opposition movement.

Mr Anwar always denied the charges and claimed he was a victim of a political conspiracy.

The appointment of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim as the eighth prime minister of Malaysia will not done hastily, said his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail who has been named the new deputy prime minister.

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Once discussions are finalised with the Pardons Board, Anwar will be released from Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital, says daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar.

Mr Anwar, who was serving his sentence at the Sungai Buloh Prison, had been scheduled to be freed on June 8. "It is also the recognition that the people have spoken and the royalty are responding to these issues".

The path to prime ministership will require Anwar to win a seat in a parliament.

When asked about the government's other priorities, Dr Wan Azizah said they would make sure no one is sidelined while they worked to enforce and fulfil their manifesto promises.

He said no final decision had been made on a Cabinet position. He quickly rose up the ranks, becoming finance minister in 1991 and deputy prime minister two years later.

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