Former deputy prime minister arrives at the royal palace to meet with king after being released from prison.
Malaysia’s former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has been released from prison after receiving a full pardon from the king on Wednesday.
Speaking at a news conference after being freed following the royal pardon, he thanked the Malaysian people for standing by “the principles of democracy and freedom”.
“Now there is a new dawn for Malaysia. I must thank the people of Malaysia. Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Iban; the entire spectrum of our Malaysians, regardless of race and religion …
“They demand change and it is our duty now to ensure that this mandate given to Pakatan Harapan [political alliance] will honour this commitment,” the politician added.
Anwar, who was initially scheduled to be released on Tuesday, walked out of the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital, where he was temporarily confined after a surgery, and later arrived at the residence of the king, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V.
An image published by the Malaysian news agency Bernama showed Anwar, 70, greeting newly elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, his ally-turned-foe-turned-ally.
Another image showed the king welcoming Anwar and his wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the deputy prime minister-designate.
Earlier, Mahathir arrived at the royal palace for the royal pardons board meeting to discuss Anwar’s release.
The question for Malaysia now is how Anwar will get along with Mahathir and what role he will play in the new government.
Anwar’s party, PKR, holds 48 seats of the 113 seats won by the Pakatan Harapan alliance on Wednesday, and he is widely tipped to succeed Mahathir once he steps down from office.