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Anwar is granted a full pardon
Published on: Thursday, May 17, 2018

Kuala Lumpur: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim became a free man Wednesday after Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V granted him a full pardon.

The Pardons Board met and decided on his case, according to a statement from Istana Negara.

The PKR de facto leader was serving a five-year jail term after being convicted of sodomy.

Sultan Muhammad V granted Anwar, his wife and PKR President Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as well as party Deputy President Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali an audience at Istana Negara at noon.

Anwar, 71, was earlier discharged from the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital, where he was warded to recover from a recent surgery, and went straight to Istana Negara for the special audience with the King.

Travelling in a convoy of cars escorted by policemen on motorcycles, Anwar arrived at Istana Negara at 11.50 am.

He had an audience for almost an hour with the King.

The release of Anwar is all the more meaningful as it comes on the eve of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

His release from prison was one of the election promises of Pakatan Harapan, of which PKR is a component party, which became a reality just a week after the general election on May 9.

The latest turn of events marks the end of 20 years of going in and out of prison, and the resumption of the political career of a leader touted to be the country's next prime minister.

After his release, Anwar told reporters his appeal for the pardon was on the basis of a "miscarriage of justice" or "travesty of justice" and this meant that his convictions and sentences had been erased from the records.

Anwar married Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on Feb 28, 1980. The couple has six children, namely Nurul Izzah, Nurul Nuha, Mohd Ihsan, Nurul Ilham, Nurul Iman and Nurul Hana.

Anwar who has a degree in Malay studies from Universiti Malaya has been actively involved in politics since his university days.

He was also involved in the setting up of the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (Abim).

He was a committee member of the Asia Youth Council; a member of the World Youth Council and a committee member of the Asia Pacific region for the World Assembly of Youth.

He became a Member of Parliament in 1982 after winning the Permatang Pauh seat.

Besides serving as the finance minister, Anwar also held various other posts, such as Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department; Culture, Youth and Sports Minister; and Agriculture Minister.

He was appointed the Deputy Prime Minister on Dec 1, 1993.

On May 19, 1997, Anwar was appointed the acting Prime Minister and Home Minister during the absence of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who was then on leave for two months.

Anwar was sacked as the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister on Sept 2, 1998, and it was followed by his expulsion from Umno the next day. Then began Anwar's dark episode. He was sentenced to six years in prison on April 14, 1999, by the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

He was found guilty of four corruption offences in relation to abuse of power by interfering in police investigations into alleged sexual misconduct.

Anwar was released on Sept 2, 2004, after nearly six years in prison.

On Aug 28, 2008, Anwar returned to the Dewan Rakyat after winning the Permatang Pauh by-election on a PKR ticket following Dr Wan Azizah's resignation as the MP of the constituency to give way to Anwar to contest the seat.

He retained the seat in the 13th General Election, in 2013.

However, Anwar was sentenced to five years jail on March 7, 2014, by the Court of Appeal, after the court found him guilty of having sodomised Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan six years earlier.

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