Malaysian king to pardon Anwar

Malaysian king to pardon Anwar

Mahathir, who had ruled with an iron fist for over two decades, cut ties with BN due to allegations that the coalition's leader and his ex-protege Najib Razak oversaw the pillaging of sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is set to be released from custody on Tuesday, and granted a full royal pardon, local media reported.

Anwar was jailed in 2015 for charges of sodomy, a charge he and his supporters say was politically motivated.

It was a second spell in prison for Anwar, a former deputy prime minister in the defeated ruling party who was also imprisoned under Mahathir in 1998 following a power struggle.

His impending release from prison would pave the way for him to return to politics and potentially become prime minister. Dr Mahathir said the King, Sultan Muhammad V, indicated he was willing to pardon Mr Anwar immediately.

Anwar has been in a rehabilitation centre since March after an adverse reaction to a steroid injection on his shoulder, post surgery.

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His wife and proposed deputy prime minister, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, had told Channel NewsAsia in an interview earlier this year that she will probably be the one to give up her Pandan seat for Anwar - paving the way for a by-election.

PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah who was also present said the visit to the hospital where Anwar was being treated was to discuss party matters.

Mr Anwar, 70, was due to be released on June 8 with time taken off his sentence for good behaviour.

Mahathir said his four-party alliance will hold a meeting Saturday and name 10 ministers for a start.

"In the case of foreign affairs, we want to maintain good relations with all countries regardless of their policies", he said.

Asked about 1MDB on Friday, Mahathir accused Attorney-General Mohamed Ali Apandi - who cleared Najib over the scandal - of having "undermined his own credibility".

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