Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim can be freed in days, says wife

Blanche Robertson
May 13, 2018

"He followed the events of the new prime minister and how the victory of Pakatan Harapan has created history and that he is part of it", she said.

Anwar Ibrahim will receive a full royal pardon and be released from prison on Tuesday, his daughter Nurul Izzah told Channel News Asia today.

Anwar was charged in 2008 with sodomy. He has maintained the charges were politically motivated.

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

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It was a remarkable comeback for Mahathir, who was premier for 22 years until his retirement in 2003 and is now the world's oldest leader at 92.

Anwar, now 70, was jailed again in 2015 during Najib's rule - after making historic gains as the head of the opposition at the 2013 elections - and had been due to be released next month. "Freedom is easier (than getting a pardon)". He said Anwar's wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who stood beside Mahathir as he made the announcement, will be the deputy prime minister in his Cabinet. However, this is the first time she is leading an election campaign since 2004.

It was the latest dramatic development after Mahathir Mohamed'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. He said his four-party alliance will hold a meeting on Saturday to name the ministers. He said he doesn't want a "huge" cabinet, in a veiled reference to past cabinets with more than 30 ministers. Najib's premiership has been battered by a massive financial scandal, in which he was accused of overseeing the plunder of billions of dollars from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB. "We have to do what is permitted by the laws of this country", Mahathir said.

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