Anwar Ibrahim pardoned, walks out of hospital

After years of suspension and legal jeopardy, he was sentenced to five years in prison on a sodomy charge in 2015. He and his supporters described the charge as a politically motivated attempt by Najib Razak to end his career.

And that allows him to gain favor with not only voters who are hungry for change, but also with conservative and rural Malays who very much want to retain their privileges.

The two leaders played down the rift after a meeting Saturday at the hospital where Anwar was recovering from surgery.

Anwar was freed in 2004 and cleared of the sodomy charges after Mahathir retired.

"I have forgiven him", he added, saying he would work to support the smooth transition of power to the new government headed by Mahathir. Mr Mahathir said on Tuesday that he may soon bring a case against his predecessor.

Several airlines added flights after the election date was announced and Malaysians made plans to travel to their hometowns to vote.

In his Tuesday remarks, Mahathir said whether Najib would serve time in jail would depend on the results of a probe into the scandal.

"They want to make sure that the U.S. will always benefit directly - item by item, country by country", said Mr Lee.

Reuters could not verify the report.

Ensuring the full royal pardon of Anwar was a key part of the agreement between Mahathir and the opposition when it was decided in January he would swap sides and run as their leader in the election, united by a joint desire to oust Najib.

Anwar's People's Justice Party (PKR), which has the most seats in the alliance, is demanding a proportionate number of posts in the cabinet.

Mahathir was Malaysia's prime minister for more than 20 years. Anwar became Mahathir's heir apparent, but they fell out during the 1998 Asian financial crisis and Anwar was sacked.

Mahathir, the oldest head of government in the world, has agreed to eventually hand power to Anwar.

After being freed, Anwar was jailed a second time for sodomy in 2015.

The 92-year-old former autocrat Mahathir - who headed BN for 22 years until 2003 - came out of retirement to lead a disparate opposition to an unexpected election victory last week amid rising anger over a massive government corruption scandal.

"5pm is only the beginning of the Pardons Board committee session, it will have consideration time and you have to wait.we are tight with procedure matters", she told reporters after visiting her father at the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital here.

"AG refused to investigate further despite evidence suggesting that Najib received directly or indirectly 42 million ringgit from SRC", Lim said, using the acronym for the attorney-general. Failing to make room for Anwar would highlight the extent to which the durability of the coalition rests on a continued rapprochement between the two former enemies.

USA investigators say Najib's associates stole $4.5 billion from the fund, some of which landed in Najib's bank account.

Asked to specify projects in the country which he had concerns about, Dr Mahathir said there were pieces of land being sold to Chinese companies to build large cities.

  • Leroy Wright