Malaysia's Mahathir says king willing to grant full pardon for Anwar

BP_Anwar

BP_Anwar

Anwar was jailed on sodomy charges for the second time.

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.

The newly elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said at a press conference on Friday that the King of Malaysia has indicted to pardon Anwar but did not give a date for his release.

The PKR vice-president said that paperwork for her father's royal pardon was being prepared.

Anwar was initially due to be released from prison in June. The opposition has said it will be two years before he hands over power, because Anwar will need to win a byelection first.

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




The relationship between Anwar and Mahathir had remained bitter until this year, when in a bid to remove Najib, Mahathir joined the opposition to run as leader in the election.

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. Malaysian Cabinets have in the past had more than 30 ministers.

"Whether Anwar will be part of the cabinet or not will be decided when the time comes", he said. 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. It was a major issue in the run-up to the election and played a major role in the ouster of Najib, Mahathir's former protegé.

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

Mahathir said the country's attorney general was wrong to clear Najib in the 1MDB probe in 2016.

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