Anwar to be released in 'a matter of days', says Nurul

Anwar to be released in 'a matter of days', says Nurul

There is little doubt that royalty has readily concurred with his plan of action, one that reaffirms the truism that there are no permanent enemies in politics ~ "The king has indicated he is willing to pardon Anwar immediately", said Mahathir.

But Mahathir told a press conference that King Sultan Muhammed V, in a meeting with opposition leaders, had agreed to grant Anwar a royal pardon.

Ibrahim is serving a second prison sentence for sodomy, which many believe was politically motivated and the result of judicial pressure brought by the country's ousted prime minister, Najib Razak.

Anwar, now 70, was jailed again in 2015 during Najib's rule - after making historic gains as the head of the opposition at the 2013 elections - and had been due to be released next month.

Mahathir, referred to as the "Father of Modern Malaysia", fell out with Anwar during his previous 22 years in power, which ended in 2003.

Anwar has been in a rehabilitation centre since March after an adverse reaction to a steroid injection on his shoulder, post surgery.

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However, Anwar will have to win a by-election or be elected senator in order for him to take over as prime minister. He said Anwar's wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who stood beside Mahathir as he made the announcement, will be the deputy prime minister in his Cabinet.

"Whether Anwar will be part of the cabinet or not will be decided when the time comes", he said.

Mahathir has vowed to return billions of dollars lost in a corruption scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

It is unclear how long Mahathir will remain prime minister after Anwar's release. "He has, in fact, hidden evidence of wrongdoing and that is wrong in law", Mahathir said.

Malaysian markets were closed and will reopen on Monday, but overseas investors were nervous about Najib's ouster after a decade in office. But he was also credited for transforming his Southeast Asian country from a sleepy backwater into a modern industrialised nation.

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