Singapore PM to meet Malaysia's Mahathir on Saturday

Arturo Kim
May 16, 2018

To become prime minister, Mr Anwar must win a seat in parliament.

"My children were quite young during the earlier period of incarceration [from 1999 to 2003] and that was a hard period for them and [his wife, new deputy prime minister Wan] Azizah", he said.

He said Tuesday that he will run the country for "one to two years" to fix Malaysia's financial problems, creating uncertainty about how the two will work together in the interim.

"The king, with the advice of the pardons board of the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, has allowed a full pardon and given an immediate release for". Without the pardon, Anwar would have been banned from politics for five years due to having a criminal record.

Anwar sought a royal pardon on the grounds of "miscarriage of justice", which would reverse his conviction and make him eligible to actively participate in politics. He has been in hospital for a few months recovering from a shoulder operation.

Anwar said he had forgiven Mahathir, 92, who had him imprisoned two decades ago but has become his unlikely ally.

"Whether he will immediately join the cabinet or not will be decided when the time comes", Mahathir said.

"I expect him to play the same role as the leaders of the other three parties".

To a question whether Najib would be placed under house arrest, the Prime Minister said Najib was just not allowed to travel overseas.

Anwar, 70, smiled and waved to supporters as he walked out of hospital, dressed in a black suit and tie and his hair neatly swept back.

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Accompanied by his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, a former housewife who threw herself into Malaysia's political struggle after her husband was jailed in the late 1990s, their convoy headed off through Kuala Lumpur.

Anwar said that after working with Mahathir for many years, "I understand that he cares deeply about Malaysia and the people of Malaysia. a new partnership was essential to overcome the deeply entrenched, corrupt system that was presiding over Malaysia".

But he eventually joined the anti-government movement that had been energized by his ordeal, using his star power to unite a divided and cowed opposition.

Dr Sundramoorthy said: "Based on the panel review, we felt the case should not have been closed as there was compelling information to say the case could be further investigated".

The multibillion-dollar corruption scandal at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the state investment fund, was a big factor in Mr Najib's fall from power.

Kevin Rudd avoided mentioning Najib, but shared Abbott's view that this "new" Malaysia has far-reaching consequences for Australia and the region.

Najib who lost the elections last week had insisted the fund is a donation from a Saudi royal.

Mahathir has replaced the attorney-general and officials at the anti-graft agency, in what appears to be a purge of people seen as close to the former premier.

Mahathir said he had received briefings from the police and the Auditor-General and had read the recently declassified 1MDB audit report.

Najib denies any wrongdoing in connection with losses at the fund.

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