Anwar's appointment as PM will not be done hastily: Wan Azizah

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar speaks to reporters at the Cheras Rehabilitation Centre. Pic by MOHAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI

On Monday, the Comptroller of the Royal Household, Istana Negara, Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Ab Aziz, said in a statement that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, had consented to all procedures related to the proceedings of the Pardons Board pertaining to Anwar being finalised yesterday.

She said Anwar is recovering well after undergoing treatment and physiotherapy at the centre.

She said during the time when Dr Mahathir was the Prime Minister, and Anwar, his deputy, Malaysia was recognised by the world as "Asian Tiger".

Throughout his ordeal, Anwar has remained a uniting figure for the opposition, and his release will be decisive for the Pakatan Harapan coalition, who are already grappling with tension among their divided ranks of Anwar's PKR party, Mahathir's party Bersatu, the DAP and Amanah. It's one of the main parties in the winning coalition.

It was his first taste of freedom since 2014, following a prison sentence widely perceived as politically motivated; a manoeuvre by then prime minister Najib Razak to get rid of a feared political rival who had run against him - and won the popular vote - in the 2013 general election.

Anwar began his career in politics as Mahathir's protege in the early 1980s - having already spent nearly two years in jail for political protest - and quickly rose through the ranks to become deputy prime minister in 1993.

She also reiterated the commitment given to her by Dr Mahathir to undo the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the regulate fuel prices.

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Since their rift, Anwar has been arrested, beaten, and twice imprisoned. At his trial in the late 1990s, prosecutors repeatedly brought what they said was a semen-stained mattress into court. Mahathir's previous 22-year reign as prime minister was as head of ruling party UMNO.

"I am already old", he said in a campaign video cited by the AP.

On Thursday, Mahathir tweeted, "First day on the job... once again".

Despite all of that history, Anwar and Mahathir have managed to reconcile, and now, to make history in Malaysia. The message included a photo showing Wan Azizah sitting to his right.

Striking a note of caution, he reminded his fellow citizens of the deep, entrenched and systemic corruption that has infected Malaysia during the 61-year rule of recently ousted Barisan Nasional.

Najib and the fund deny any wrongdoing.

"The elections were made more contentious when Naijib and his party were accused of trying to skew election results in their favor by redrawing electoral lines based on race and ethnic grouping, while railroading an anti-Fake News bill through parliament".

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