Malaysia's Pardons Board to meet on Wednesday to discuss Anwar Ibrahim's release

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Pardons Board will meet on Wednesday (May 16) to discuss the release of jailed politician Anwar Ibrahim, according to a media notice issued by the board.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told Channel NewsAsia on Monday evening that Anwar will be out on Wednesday, not Tuesday as initially disclosed by his daughter and lawyer. 

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The board had earlier been expected to meet at 11am on Tuesday to discuss Anwar’s release.

It is unclear how long the meeting will take, but Anwar’s daughter Nurul Izzah and lawyer R Sivarasa told Channel NewsAsia that they expect he will receive a full pardon from the King of Malaysia.

Nurul Izzah also said that she expects Anwar to be out by noon. 

The meeting will be held at the palace and the King, as well as Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will be in attendance, along with a representative of the Attorney-General’s Chambers and three other Pardons Board members.

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Anwar is currently receiving treatment at a facility in Cheras for a shoulder injury.

“I am confident based on the statement made by none other than the Prime Minister of Malaysia,” said Sivarasa. “His release will be immediate once they’ve made a decision.”

On Saturday, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that the King had indicated he was willing to fully pardon Anwar, who has been serving out a “politically motivated” sentence for a sodomy conviction since 2015.

Anwar needs a royal pardon in order to get around a five-year ban from politics for those convicted of crimes in Malaysia. Ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan had agreed that Anwar will eventually take over from Dr Mahathir as prime minister. 

The former prime minister, 92, may take up to two years before handing over the reins, however. He has told media he wants time to fix the problems he perceives are plaguing the nation, drawing on his previous experience helming Malaysia for 22 years. 


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