Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim freed from jail

17 May, 2018, 03:09 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Anwar Ibrahim is expected to become prime minister at some point

Anwar Ibrahim will lend his full support to the Malaysian prime minister and his government to ensure the reform agenda is carried out effectively.

He said the police took some personal possessions including a couple of handbags. "If they live a lavish lifestyle, we "terajang" (kick) them", he said.

Several dozen policemen were also seen at a luxury condominium in another district of Kuala Lumpur, where Najib has an apartment.

There were cheers and shouts of jubilation outside the hospital as a smiling Anwar appeared, flanked by large numbers of police and security officials.

Mr Mahathir agreed, and further said he meant to hand the prime ministerial post to Mr Anwar within two years.

Najib and his wife have been barred from leaving Malaysia. If Najib had won, I would be on my way back to prison.

Separately, Malaysia and six countries are investigating defeated prime minster Najim over corruption at the state fund 1MDB.

Anwar was initially scheduled to be released on June 8, 2018 after his five-year sentence that started on Feb 10, 2015 was reduced for good behaviour. The relationship between the two remains volatile, however, and will likely determine what course Malaysia will chart in the coming months.

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"I don't need to serve in the Cabinet for now", he said.

The former autocrat Mahathir, the 92-year-old - who headed BN for 22 years until 2003 - is done with his retirement to lead a disparate opposition to an unexpected election victory last week accompanied by rising anger prior to the massive government corruption scandal. Mr Anwar wanted to seek help from the International Monetary Fund, but Mr Mahathir favoured capital controls. The two had a falling out over the handling of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, resulting in Anwar being sacked as deputy prime minister. He has been in and out of prison for politically motivated sodomy charges for most of the past two decades.

Images at the time of a goateed, bespectacled Anwar in court with a black eye and bruises brought condemnation of Mahathir from around the world. Oh said. Dr. Greg Lopez, Malaysia expert at Western Australia's Murdoch University, told Arab News that one of Anwar Ibrahim's biggest challenges would be managing the interests of coalitions parties.

Holding a brief press conference, he thanked the people of Malaysia, who "stood by the principles of democracy and freedom" by voting against the ruling party and are now demanding "for change".

"I and Mahathir have buried the hatchet already, it was a long time ago", Anwar said.

"I have forgiven him. I came to hear it directly from him", she added.

An advocate for reform, clean government and an end to the previous government's authoritarian ways, Anwar made no immediate comment but was expected to address the public in the afternoon followed by a political rally in the evening.

Yesterday (May 15), Dr Mahathir in announcing Anwar's release, said that the 70-year-old would have to contest a parliamentary seat after being pardoned and could then possibly be appointed to the Cabinet.

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