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Anwar gets pardon from Malay king

Anwar gets pardon from Malay king

Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Malaysia's deputy prime minister-elect and the wife of jailed opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim, has said her husband could be released in "two to three days" - a development likely to delight supporters of the now-ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition the veteran leader helped build from scratch. A full pardon by the king would mean Anwar can return to active politics.

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.

The paperwork for the release is being arranged, the Singapore-based broadcaster said. However, this is the first time she is leading an election campaign since 2004. Nearly incredible must be the swingback in Malaysian politics, verily an electoral quake.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will not be released on today (May 11) and it may take a few weeks before he can go home a free man.

The southeast Asian nation's political landscape has been shaped for almost two decades by a feud between Anwar and Mahathir, whose decision to sack Anwar as his deputy sparked an opposition movement, Reformasi, or Reform, in 1998.

Anwar, 70, is now in Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital where he has been recuperating after a surgery. Anwar and Mahathir joined forces in an unlikely alliance that helped the opposition nailed the electoral victory. He has maintained the charges were politically motivated.

It was a remarkable comeback for Mahathir, who was premier for 22 years until his retirement in 2003 and is now the world's oldest leader at 92.

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

Theoretically, Mahathir's election had posited him to effect what in political science is called the "second act in politics".

Wan Azizah has served as party president and elected representative for over a decade.

Anwar will probably stand as a candidate in a by-election to become an MP before he is made a minister in Mahathir's cabinet.

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