Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Malaysia's Anwar Walks Free After Royal Pardon, Meets Mahathir

Anwar's First Interview On The Eve Of Freedom Malaysia: Opposition icon Anwar gets royal pardon, released from prison
Jay Anderson | 16 May, 2018, 14:06

"The king has accepted this, that the pardon is complete and unconditional". He was surrounded by his family, lawyers and prison guards before driving to the palace for an audience with King Sultan Muhammad V.

"My answer is simply that we must all firmly resolve to never let our nation sink to the depths it did again and prime minister Mohamad now has a rare second chance to put things right".

The ruling alliance wasted no time in preparing a hero's welcome for their icon.

Anwar made his name as a student activist in various Muslim youth groups in Kuala Lumpur in the late 1960s, as the country reeled from the protracted Communist insurgency of the Malayan Emergency.

"I will play a role in the background even when I step down", he added, however. Despite his firebrand reputation, he later confounded liberal supporters in 1982 by joining the conservative United Malays National Organization (UMNO) led by Mahathir. He has been in hospital for a few months recovering from a shoulder operation.

In 2015, Anwar was sentenced to five years' jail after the Federal Court upheld his guilty verdict.

"I think we need to let Mahathir do his work to save Malaysia and to get back its system of government". Pakatan Harapan's predecessor, Pakatan Rakyat, dealt heavy blows to Barisan Nasional in the 2008 and 2013 elections.

However, the Malaysian public saw the two politicians' "rapprochement as something very good", Chin said, and together they toppled Najib and broke the ruling coalition's 60-year grip on the country.

"Anwar will contribute but not as part of the government", she told reporters after an event to welcome her as the first woman to be elected as deputy prime minister and Pandan MP here on Tuesday night.




The pardon allows Anwar to re-enter active politics immediately, but it was not clear what his role in government would be.

Mahathir blocked Najib from leaving the country over the weekend.

Mahathir vowed on Monday to investigate any faults that may have been committed by Najib's government and said all ministries had been instructed not to destroy any documents.

Later in his political life, he preached moderate Islam and democratisation.

Anwar sought to allay those concerns, saying he was not in a hurry to take over from Mahathir.

Anwar's trial became a spectacle, with prosecutors at one stage bringing out what they said was a semen-stained mattress allegedly used when he had sex with two male aides. "We will be able to charge him".

Analysts said the win by the opposition was a resounding rejection of the political status quo.

Mahathir in a televised address said a representative of Malaysia's constitutional monarchy had ed the opposition to acknowledge its victory.

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