Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim freed from jail

Lester Mason
May 18, 2018

"Now there is a new dawn for Malaysia", said Anwar, flanked by his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and other members of his political party.

In an ideal situation, Mahathir's ideological opposition to United States hegemony can form a new alliance with the pragmatic Singapore style neutrality of the Democratic Action Party.

Just a few days after the alliance's victory, the new government pardoned Anwar.

The 70-year-old Anwar walked out of a hospital in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday where he was receiving treatment for a shoulder injury, and headed for a meeting with King Sultan Muhammad V.

Najib, whose government was plagued with scandal, was soundly defeated in last week's parliamentary election by a coalition led by veteran politician Mahathir Mohamad, who came out of retirement to challenge Najib.

Anwar sought to allay those concerns, saying he was not in a hurry to take over from Mahathir.

Mahathir ruled with an iron first during his first stint in office, and was accused of throwing political opponents in jail and undermining the country's democratic institutions.

Anwar told reporters he needed "time and space" to recuperate and be with his family, and shared that he has been booked for speaking engagements overseas. "I will support him", he said. But the amount of jewelry, he said, "is rather big". "He has proven his mettle". "I have forgiven him, he has proved his mettle".

Mahathir was ideal as prime minister right now as the new government goes about dismantling the obsolete and corrupt system put in place by the long-ruling United Malay National Organisation (UMNO)-led coalition, Anwar said.

Under a pre-election pact, Mahathir, 92, had vowed to enable Anwar's release and eventually step aside for him to become prime minister.

Anwar worked from his prison cell to forge a new opposition alliance by ending his two-decade feud with Mahathir, a gamble that paid off when the alliance won the polls.

Anwar and his party has faced a protracted struggle to gain power due to electoral systems and government institutions working in favour of the ruling party.

"Long live Anwar", supporters on motorbikes yelled as they pulled into the royal compound in support of their newly-freed leader.

He also questioned the timing of the search, which "denied the right" of Mr Najib's family and staff to properly conduct their religious obligations before the opening of fast on the first day of Ramadan.

He said that he has no malice against Najib, but that the former leader "has to answer" for corruption scandals that led to his coalition's defeat.

The U.S. Justice Department said previous year in a filing in a civil lawsuit that almost $30 million of funds stolen from 1MDB was used to buy jewellery for Rosmah, including a rare 22-carat pink diamond set in a necklace. The search for evidence is ongoing, he said. They hope to see the country transforming itself into a South East Asia powerhouse and serving as a beacon for many other nations drowning in poor leadership.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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