Malaysia Former Deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim Freed Following Royal Pardon


Anwar, 70, was convicted of sodomy in 2015 in a case he said was aimed at crushing his alliance, which was making gains against Malaysia's long-ruling coalition government.

Shouts of "Reformasi!" (Reform)?- Anwar?s rallying cry -? rang out as he arrived at his sprawling family compound in a city suburb.

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In his four-decade career, Anwar has changed his political colors with the readiness of a chameleon in an ambitious pursuit of leadership in the multiethnic, Muslim-majority country.

Anwar's release comes exactly one week after Malaysia's 14th general election, in which opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) stormed to a surprise victory, toppling the Barisan Nasional coalition and its major party United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which had been in power since 1955.

Upon his release the first time, he joined and revitalised the opposition coalition that finally ousted BN last week.

It sets up a tantalising reunion with his one-time mentor turned nemesis and now ally again - Mahathir Mohamad.

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On Tuesday, Mahathir said he expected to be prime minister for one or two more years.

"Bury the hatchet? It's been a long time already", Anwar said when asked about Mahathir. As such, he will not be rushing back into politics and will support the new government as a regular citizen instead.

Anwar's release caps a remarkable reversal of fortune made possible by the BN's unexpected electoral drubbing a week ago.

Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail is said to be preparing to charge former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak in connection with the troubled 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MBD) before he was replaced in 2015.

"A-G refused to investigate further despite evidence suggesting that Najib received directly or indirectly RM42mil from SRC".

His release is likely to add to public feelings of excitement about a new era in the country following the stunning election result.

Malaysia's markets were shut for three days last week.

"The joy is similar to when South Africans celebrated with jubilation after Nelson Mandela was freed".

He waved and smiled at reporters as he left a hospital in Kuala Lumpur where he had been undergoing treatment for a shoulder problem.

Anwar can not directly join the government anytime soon. After he was sacked, Anwar was arrested, convicted and jailed on corruption and sodomy charges. But Najib's government was routed at last week's polls.