Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim freed from jail after royal pardon

Jailed Malaysian reformist Anwar Ibrahim was granted a full pardon on Wednesday and walked free from a hospital in Kuala Lumpur, capping dramatic changes in the Southeast Asian country since the government was ousted in an election upset last week.

The question for Malaysia now is how Anwar will get along with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, his ally-turned-foe-turned-ally, and what role he will play in government.

Anwar, 70, smiled and waved to supporters as he walked out of hospital, dressed in a black suit and tie and his hair neatly swept back. He was surrounded by his family, lawyers and prison guards before driving to the palace for an audience with King Sultan Muhammad V.

Supporters chanted Reformasi (Reform), the movement he launched two decades ago to challenge diverse Malaysia’s race- and patronage-based politics.

Anwar has served three years of a five-year term for sodomy, a charge he says was trumped up by the government of ousted Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Malaysian leader Anwar Ibrahim said on Wednesday that he would give full support to the government led by former rival Mahathir Mohamad, but would not immediately be part of it. He said in a news conference at his home after he was freed from custody.

Source: Radio Pakistan