World News

Malaysian former deputy PM Anwar to be released on Wednesday

Malaysian former deputy PM Anwar to be released on Wednesday

A royal pardons board met at 11am to clear his release.

Malaysia jailed opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim waves to supporters as he leave a hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Wednesday, May 16, 2018.

After he was sworn in last week as Malaysia's seventh prime minister, Mahathir said the king indicated he would give Anwar a full pardon that will allow him to immediately run for office.

He was handed a five-year jail sentence in 2015 on a sodomy charge which his supporters maintain were politically motivated.

Dr Wan Azizah was asked to comment on a foreign media report quoting Council of Eminent Persons chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin that it would be foolish to make Anwar prime minister as soon as he returned to Parliament.

"I will play a role in the background even when I step down".

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"The pardon timing is fast, and this speaks to the recognition that his conviction was unjust", said Bridget Welsh, a political science professor at the John Cabot University in Rome.

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.

Officials in Anwar's political party said he was headed to an audience with Malaysia's king and was expected to address the public in the afternoon followed by a political rally in the evening. "Now we need to see him become prime minister".

While the meeting was originally thought to be held today, PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said it has now been changed to tomorrow.

Mahathir said after winning a parliamentary seat, Anwar could potentially be appointed to the Cabinet.

Dr Wan Azizah said the government would work tirelessly to deliver their 100-day promises made during campaigning for the 14th general election. Mahathir on Saturday named the finance, home affairs and defence ministers, who are leaders in his four-party alliance.


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