Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Malaysia: Opposition icon Anwar gets royal pardon, released from prison

Malaysia: Opposition icon Anwar gets royal pardon, released from prison

She said during the time when Dr Mahathir was the Prime Minister, and Anwar, his deputy, Malaysia was recognised by the world as "Asian Tiger".

The process of releasing Datuk Seri Anwar will be carried out at the Rehabilitation Hospital in Cheras here without requiring the de facto leader of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to be taken back to the Sungai Buloh Prison, the Bernama news agency reported.

"So, we expect (the release) will be at noon tomorrow before a gathering in the afternoon in Petaling Jaya", he told reporters after visiting Mr Anwar at the hospital on Tuesday (May 15).

Anwar, 70, has been recovering from a shoulder injury in the hospital under police guard. It was the second time he had been convicted of the sodomy offense.

"I am disappointed because I had hoped he could be prime minister as soon as possible", said Talib Ibrahim, an Anwar supporter outside the hospital.

A royal pardon would reverse Mr Anwar's conviction and make him eligible to actively participate in politics.

Party spokesman Fahmi Fadzil said he has been pardoned by the king.

Anwar is expected to meet with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at Istana Negara shortly, together with his wife and PKR president as well as deputy prime minister-designate Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

Until his early release, he had been scheduled to be freed in early June.

He also pledged to serve the premiership for around two years before handing it over to Anwar.

The 92-year-old former autocrat Mahathir had headed the now-ousted Barisan Nasional regime for 22 years until 2003 but came out of retirement to lead a disparate opposition to an unexpected election victory.

Anwar had been serving a five-year prison sentence for sodomy charges he says were politically motivated.

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