THE POLITICAL DRAMA IN MALAYSIA. PRIME MINISTER MAHATHIR MOHAMAD SAID: "IN THE PAST IT WAS SAID THAT I PUT ANWAR IBRAHIM IN PRISON ".NOW I HAVE FREED HIM.ANWAR WAS ONCE HIS DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER DURING HIS FIRST STINT AS PRIME MINISTER,BEFORE HE WAS SACKED IN 1998 AND LATER IMPRISONED FOR SODOMY AND CORRUPTION.

Love him or hate him – and there seem to be very few bodies who fall in the middle of that spectrum  anyone would be hard pressed to deny that Mahathir has nothing but fierce love for Malaysia. Some would argue he views the nation as a foil to his ego, but patriotism remains patriotism, and the chipping away of Malaysia’s legacy  Mahathir’s legacy  strikes a chord with the nonagenarian.Mr Mahathir, who first led the country as an authoritarian prime minister for 22 years until 2003.Mahathir Mohamad, 92, has won a historic election victory.

You can imprison a man but you cannot imprison his spirit, you cannot imprison his ideas, you cannot imprison the ideals he stands for.Anwar Ibrahim is the founder and leading figure of the People’s Justice Party (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) and was the leader of the opposition coalition consisting of the parties DAP (Democratic Action Party), PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) and until last year PAS (Malaysian Islamic Party) . The coalition is called Pakatan Rakyat.But he hasn't always been the leading figure of Pakatan Rakyat.Nineteen years ago Mahathir Mohamad, while prime minister of Malaysia, denounced his freshly sacked deputy Anwar Ibrahim as “morally unfit” for leadership, following allegations of corruption and sodomy.Now the duo   formerly known for a father-and-son-like closeness   has seemingly reunited to take down a common foe: embattled former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is facing global scrutiny following his alleged involvement in the  Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) corruption scandal.Dr Mahathir, now 92, first put Anwar in prison on corruption and sodomy charges in politically charged circumstances in 1999. But he has now come out of retirement, won a second stint as prime minister - and provided the key to his former deputy's release nearly two decades late.Malaysia's king has agreed to pardon Anwar Ibrahim immediately, the country's newly installed prime minister said on Friday, paving the way for the jailed leader to return to politics and potentially become premier.Mahathir  who had retired in 2003 aspremier but made a comeback in a bid to oust the coalition he once headed  was sworn in on Thursday, becoming the world's oldest elected leader at 92.Mahathir, who had ruled with an iron fist for over two decades, cut ties with BN due to allegations that the coalition's leader and his ex-protege Najib Razak oversaw the pillaging of sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.The elderly politician joined forces with parties that opposed him while in power and agreed that if elected, he would hand over the premiership to Anwar, his former nemesis and leading member of the People's Justice Party.The party is in the alliance that won power at the hard-fought poll.Mahathir previously said he would likely remain prime minister for two to three years, before transferring power to Anwar.One of Malaysia's most charismatic politicians, Anwar was heir-apparent to the premiership until Mahathir sacked him in 1998 and he was subsequently jailed for sodomy and abuse of power.Anwar and Mahathir's stormy relationship has loomed large over Malaysia's political landscape for two decades.But, in a remarkable turnaround, the pair reconciled and joined forces as allegations mounted over 1MDB and Najib became increasingly authoritarian, jailing opponents and introducing laws to stifle dissent.Anwar, now 70, was jailed again in 2015 during Najib's rule  after making historic gains as the head of the opposition in the 2013 elections   and is due to be released .Mahathir told a press conference that King Sultan Muhammad V, in a meeting with opposition leaders, had agreed to grant Anwar a royal pardon."The (king) has indicated he is willing to pardon Datuk Sri Anwar immediately," Mahathir told a press conference, using a Malay honorific to refer to Anwar.The royal pardon would mean he could return to politics straight away. Without it, he would be banned from political life for five years."He should be released immediately when he is pardoned," Mahathir added.It was not clear when Anwar, who is currently in hospital for treatment to his shoulder, would be freed.In a statement, Anwar thanked "the people of Malaysia for their courage in making a change which is a victory for the people.The new government vows to uphold democracy, justice and human rights for all," said the statement, delivered by vice-president of his party, Tian Chua, who was visiting the leader in hospital.Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, president of Anwar's party and his wife, told AFP that the process to have him freed was already underway.Meanwhile, speculation was mounting about Najib's future with a senior member of his party, former sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin, calling for "big changes" to be made without delay.Najib's premiership has been battered by a massive financial scandal, in which he was accused of overseeing the plunder of billions of dollars from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB. Najib and the fund deny anywrongdoing.Recently, Najib came out defending state-owned fund 1MDB and the good it had done, such as financing haj pilgrimages, sponsoring education and building houses. He said people who were using 1MDB to bring down the government   “including a former prime minister” – were not doing the right thing. This came months after the latest 1MDB-related US Department of Justice complaint seeking to recover US$540 million in assets including a yacht, a Picasso painting gifted to Leonardo DiCaprio, and a diamond necklace bought with money stolen from the government fund.Malaysia's new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said,he will form a lean cabinet with 10 core ministries and start the process of obtaining an immediate pardon for jailed opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim.Mahathir was sworn in as Malaysia's seventh premier late Thursday, a day after leading his four-party opposition alliance to a stunning election victory that ousted scandal-plagued Prime Minister Najib Razak and ended his coalition's 60-year unbroken grip on power. It was a remarkable comeback for Mahathir, who was premier for 22 years until his retirement in 2003 and is now the world's oldest leader at 92.Mahathir said the king has indicated he was willing to give an immediate pardon that would free Anwar, who was jailed in 2015 on sodomy charges he said were fabricated by the then-government to crush the opposition."We will go through the proper process of obtaining a pardon for Anwar  it is going to be a full pardon, which of course, means he is not only pardoned but to be released immediately," he told a news conference. He didn't say how long the process will take and whether Anwar could be freed before his sentence ends June 8.It was a second spell in prison for Anwar, a former deputy prime minister in the defeated ruling party who was also imprisoned under Mahathir in 1998 following a power struggle. Anwar and Mahathir joined forces in an unlikely alliance that helped the opposition nailed the electoral victory.U.S. investigators say Najib's associates stole and looted at least $4.5 billion from the fund, of which some $700 million landed in Najib's bank account. Najib denied any wrongdoing and Mohamed Apandi cleared Najib in 2016, saying the money was a donation from Saudi Arabia's royal family and most of it returned.Mahathir has said he would not go on a witch hunt but that Najib will be brought to court if there was evidence of wrongdoing.Anger over the 1MDB scandal prompted Mahathir to emerge from retirement and sparked the anger that helped to oust Najib's coalition. The fund was set up by Najib in 2009 to promote economic development but it accumulated billions in debts and is under investigations in the U.S. and other countries.

Anwar Ibrahim and family,Malaysia opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim is released from jail and given full royal pardon.Where he was recovering from a minor surgery. He had been serving his second stint in jail since 2015 on charges of sodomy, a conviction he says was politically motivated as he challenged the authority of now-ousted prime minister Najib Razak.

Many of us would also know that Anwar was once Deputy Prime Minister to  Prime Minister  Mahathir , but they had a huge argument and didn’t like each other anymore.Anwar however, never seemed satisfied with what he had achieved. He had his eyes set on something much bigger: the role of Deputy Prime Minister. It would take him a while to make his next move, but in 1993, he finally did. He ran against the DPM at the time, Tun Ghafar Baba, who at 68 and more than 20 years his senior, was already among the veterans of UMNO.There will be no prizes for guessing who won. Anwar had become DPM, and Tun M seemed quite content to let him to take the place of Tun Ghafar, whom just a few years earlier stood by the PM’s side when UMNO split into two.Anwar had already been appointed Finance Minister 2 years before that, but now that he was DPM, he became a household name not just in Malaysia, but worldwide.The financial crisis that became a relationship crisisMaybe, just maybe, if the Asian Financial Crisis of 97/98 didn’t hit Malaysia, we may have seen Anwar Ibrahim as  PM after Prime Minister  Mahathir . But the crisis is often mentioned to be the breaking point of their relationship.The Asian Financial Crisis of 97/98 started when the economies of developing Asian countries started to collapse. Malaysia was not spared, and so was the relationship between  Prime Minister  Mahathir and Anwar.Anwar, who was still Finance Minister at the time, and Prime Minister  Mahathir  both had huge disagreements on how to tackle the crisis. Anwar wanted to control and cut spending, while Mahathir   wanted to continue spending more to get the economy running. Eventually things reached a point where Mahathir   formed an economic council to tackle the crisis without the Finance Minister in it.The former Umno man was released from prison in 2004 and went on to lead the opposition coalition, but was jailed again in 2015 on separate sodomy charges and is currently behind bars serving a five-year sentence.Last September, the two nemeses met face-to-face, under friendly circumstances, for the first time in 18 years  but the reunion has been described as a political ploy which “demonstrates the depth of their political opportunism and desperation.Fears that multibillion-dollar deals between China and Malaysia may no longer have a friend at the top may be premature  after all, the new prime minister has 134 billion reasons to maintain the status quo.For years, Chinese and Malaysian officials have cheered their ambitious economic collaborations. But for now, at least, it seems the cheering is over. Mahathir Mohamad, often a vocal critic of Chinese investment deals while outside the circle of power, now sits in the centre of it as the new prime minister. Now all eyes are on how he will walk the talk.The 92-year-old politician, who last week defied the odds to unseat Najib Razak in the general election, has already said he will be re-examining all China-linked projects in the country, ringing early alarm bells for jittery analysts and economists.While many view his victory as a threat to Chinese investment, the long-term economic outlook remains positive. Trade relations between China and Malaysia, the conventional wisdom goes, are too big to fail. “We need to study all the things done by the previous government,” Mahathir said  before being sworn in as the country’s seventh prime minister. “It’s not only about China, it’s about a lot of things.”“China has a long experience of dealing with unequal treaties and China dealt with them by renegotiating,” he said, adding that Malaysia would renegotiate any agreements it felt were lopsided. Lim Guan Eng, named by Mahathir on Saturday as new finance minister and only the third Malaysian Chinese to hold such a post since independence, vowed to “review all contracts that do not favour or do not benefit Malaysia.”In the wake of the unexpected election result, speculation is running rampant. Fidelity International warned investors that the new leadership was likely to go back to the drawing board over large-scale infrastructure projects. Mahathir’s rhetoric is tough, but he and his cabinet will need to do a thorough assessment of the economy before making this decision.But big or small, for now such reviews are sure to stir uncertainty, say analysts, and that will hamper investor confidence. “While it is sensible for Sino-Malaysian relationships to improve in the long term, the re-examination of the China-backed projects may delay progress and amend previously agreed terms, creating near-term market concerns, an analyst at investment bank CLSA in Hong Kong.” “Mahathir’s victory puts into question the future of a number of planned Chinese-backed investment projects,” Holmes wrote in a research note. “The next couple of years are likely to see a sharp slowdown in investment growth.In recent years, Chinese investment has rocketed in Malaysia. In 2017, about US$2.36 billion went from China to Malaysia, an increase of almost 350 per cent from 2013, DBS bank estimated.And more Chinese money is set to come. The country’s pipeline of rail and port projects are expected to receive US$101 billion worth of Chinese investments over the next two decades, according to Citi Research.Based on data compiled by This Week in Asia from 11 high-profile, controversial projects signed during the Najib administration, a total of US$134 billion worth of Chinese investment could face tougher government scrutiny.

Contrary to what most Malaysians believe and presume to be true, Anwar Ibrahim actually never served any sentence for the crime of sodomy prior to his conviction in 2014.In other words, Anwar Ibrahim was never jailed in 1999 for sodomy. So, why was he in prison from 1999 till 2004 then? Wasn’t it for sodomy, a great conspiracy orchestrated by Dr Mahathir as Anwar alleged numerous times previously?

Anwar Ibrahim, the Malaysian political veteran who helped build the Pakatan Harapan coalition that swept to power in elections last week, has been freed after being jailed during the tenure of the scandal-haunted deposed premier Najib Razak.The 70-year-old, who was granted a full pardon by the country’s King Muhammad V. Anwar, had been serving a five year jail term his second prison sentence in two decades – for a sodomy conviction he says was trumped up.Mahathir sacked Anwar as his deputy in 1998, during his first stint in power. Anwar was later sent to prison on sodomy and corruption charges until 2004.His latest stint came as a result of another sodomy conviction in 2015, during the tenure of the just-deposed premier Najib.Anwar insists he was a prisoner of conscience, and that charges were trumped up on both occasions. Reformist icon Anwar Ibrahim celebrated a “new dawn” for Malaysia after he was given a royal pardon and freed from custody , transforming a political prisoner into a prime minister-in-waiting following his alliance's stunning election victory.He was detained under the Internal Security Act. The law was replaced by another law called SOSMA (Security Offences Special Measures Act) in 2012 and allowed detention without trial. Anwar Ibrahim spent 20 months of his life in the Kamunting Detention Centre (in the Malaysian federal state Perak), but he never gave up the struggle. After his release, he continued his political career: From 1975 until 1982 he was representative for the Asia Pacific of World Assembly of Youth as well as the Education Minister.  Later on he became the second President of the “International Islamic University of Malaysia”.Because of his trouble with the former Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, Anwar Ibrahim was removed from his post and was jailed for corruption and sodomy in 1998. During his second detention he was kept in solitary confinement- which is a form of torture- and was beaten in police custody.That´s a long story for a not so old guy. Anwar Ibrahim is 70 years old. Now  we know more about the person Anwar Ibrahim and his impressive career. You might even understand why he is such an important figure to many Malaysians and key figure for a whole movement.  He is not just the leader of the opposition, which has challenged the government since years, but also a crucial politician who was able to link Islam to human rights. He might have been the Prime Minister the country and its people have waited for since decades.Anwar was sentenced to a five-year jail term, his third stint in prison, for charges of sodomy he says were trumped up by the ousted premier Najib Razak. The country’s constitutional king Muhammad V agreed to grant Anwar a full pardon after a request from Pakatan Harapan leaders. 

Anwar Ibrahim in prison : ‘When it is denied to you, freedom is a torture’.The former Malaysian deputy leader, pardoned and released from jail, talks exclusively about his hopes for his nation.“We believe in the dismantling of Malaysia’s system of race-based privileges that has devolved into nothing more than rent-seeking for the privileged few. We believe that corruption is a slow bleed that robs future generations of the education and business opportunities that will make them prosper,” he wrote in the piece


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