Malaysia's jailed opposition icon to make spectacular return


Malaysia's jailed opposition icon to make spectacular return

Malaysia's reformist icon Anwar Ibrahim has been freed from custody after receiving a royal pardon, paving the way for a political comeback following his alliance's stunning election victory.

PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution said Mr Anwar was expected to be released after the Pardons Board meets at 11am on Wednesday to discuss the application for his release and full pardon.

She said her husband's health was improving.

On Monday, the Comptroller of the Royal Household, Istana Negara, Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Ab Aziz, said in a statement that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, had consented to all procedures related to the proceedings of the Pardons Board pertaining to Anwar being finalised yesterday.

Mahathir, 92, who put Anwar in jail in 1998, promised to help release his former protege during the campaign.

The ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, for which PKR is the lead party, plans to make Anwar prime minister once he has successfully won a by-election for a parliamentary seat, making him eligible for the premiership.

"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.

He has been in hospital for a few months recovering from a shoulder operation.

"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.

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

He was serving a five-year jail term on sodomy charges, which he said was politically motived.

Mahathir, who is now prime minister for a second stint, had vowed to enable Anwar's release and eventually step aside for him to become the prime minister.

He was scheduled to be released from the Sungai Buloh prison on June 8 on good behaviour.

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