Malaysian Politician Anwar Ibrahim Released from Prison

Malaysian Politician Anwar Ibrahim Released from Prison

Malaysian Politician Anwar Ibrahim Released from Prison

"Anwar should never have been jailed in the first place, and his long overdue release is an important step towards the restoration of justice and human rights in Malaysia after so many years of political persecution by previous governments", said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's Secretary General.

The former autocrat Mahathir - who headed BN for 22 years until 2003 - came out of retirement to lead a disparate opposition first assembled by Anwar to a upset victory, fuelled by rising public anger at a massive government corruption scandal under Najib.

Anwar himself claimed that Malaysia was on the verge of a new "golden era" in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald.

The election result was a demand for change and it's the new government's responsibility to ensure that mandate is honoured, he said.

Anwar Ibrahim's release from prison marks yet another dramatic turn in a roller-coaster political life that has left a profound mark on Malaysian politics and society.

According to officials, Malaysia's King Sultan Muhammad V will formally inform Ibrahim of the pardon in person when the latter visits the palace.

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.

Anwar sought to allay those concerns, saying he was not in a hurry to take over from Mahathir.

The movement provided a much-needed boost for the languishing opposition, which Anwar fashioned into a potent force.

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At the time Mahathir had said he needed to remove Anwar because he was "not fit for office" - though Anwar has always maintained that the charge was spurious and that Mahathir felt threatened at his popularity with the masses.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia was committed to paying any debt linked to state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) if it had been guaranteed by the government.

"I want to explain that the elements of torture and so on, can not happen. I tell you, it is like deja vu". "Why should I harbour any malice toward him?"

Released in poor health in 2004 when the sodomy charge was overturned, the father of six spent a few years recuperating and working as an academic.

After being freed, Anwar was jailed a second time for sodomy in 2015.

Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim has been freed from jail, paving the way for his return to politics.

"He is not only physically free, but also free to participate in the country's politics as though the past conviction did not exist", Sivarasa said. Anwar said he was touched that his 20-year struggle for reform has finally paid off.

Anwar's freedom is expected to ease fears of a growing rift within the newly formed coalition government after differences erupted between supporters of Mahathir and Anwar over cabinet positions and Anwar's role in the party. He said there must be transparency and accountability to ensure the deals are in the nation's interest.

At a later press conference, Anwar seemed giddy at the pace of events, reflecting that he had gone from "prison to the palace" in just a day.

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