Jailed Malaysian leader Anwar Ibrahim set to walk free

The Pardons Board will only convene to consider Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s possible release on Wednesday PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said today

Kuala Lumpur: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government is not rushing to appoint de factor leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister.

Anwar emerged from the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital on Wednesday after Malaysia's Pardon Board, which included the current King, chose to overturn the 2015 conviction, which is widely accepted to be politically motivated.

Mahathir had previously said he would remain prime minister for two years before stepping down for Anwar to take over.

"So, we expect (the release) will be at noon tomorrow before a gathering in the afternoon in Petaling Jaya", he told reporters after visiting Mr Anwar at the hospital on Tuesday (May 15). The firebrand politician was convicted of sodomy a second time in 2015, this time as his opposition alliance was making gains on the long-ruling coalition.

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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.

Anwar was supposed to speak to the press outside the centre upon his release, but the sheer hubbub from supporters and media seems to have delayed this.

A royal pardon would reverse Mr Anwar's conviction and make him eligible to actively participate in politics.

The 92-year-old former-PM was also the man responsible for putting Anwar in jail the first time around back in 1999 during Dr Mahathir's first stint in the prime minister's role between 1981 to 2003.

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Until his early release, he had been scheduled to be freed in early June.

He's expected to succeed the country's new leader Mahathir Mohamad, who won last week's election in a shock upset.

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

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