Anwar walks out of hospital a free man


Days after taking in the stunning election triumph of Malaysia's long-languishing Pakatan Harapan political pact, the country's 31 million people on Tuesday were steadying themselves for yet another historic moment - the release from jail of the victorious alliance's icon, Anwar Ibrahim.

"The king, with the advice of the pardons board of the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, has allowed a full pardon and given an immediate release for".

Jack Seng, another supporter wearing a shirt with an image of Anwar behind bars, said he thought Mahathir and Anwar would resolve any tension between them.

But Anwar's wife and deputy prime minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail told reporters later that Anwar was in no hurry to become prime minister.

Once a high flyer in the ruling party, Anwar was convicted of homosexual sodomy — and an additional charge of corruption — in 1998 amid a power struggle with Mahathir, at the peak of his authoritarian run in power.

Security personnel from the building - which is owned by Desmond Lim, a wealthy Malaysian businessman and supporter of Najib - were cooperative."We are looking for government documents that may have been illegally taken", said a senior police officer, who requested anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Mahathir has previously said he expects to stay in charge for a period of time, partly to ensure a smooth transition, but has already signalled he would eventually yield to Anwar. He has been in hospital for a few months recovering from a shoulder operation.

Mahathir crossed aisles because he felt it was untenable to support Najib as premier following widespread allegations of his involvement in the 1MDB scandal.

Anwar can not directly join the government anytime soon.

The man who has led the country's reform, or "reformasi" movement for 20 years, cautioned his countrymen and women, saying "one election does not a democracy make".

"We think that within a short while we will have a case against him".

Yet rather than give up, Anwar worked from his prison cell to forge a new opposition alliance by ending the two-decade feud with Mahathir - a gamble that paid off when the alliance won the 9 May polls.

Anwar, Mahathir said, "maybe [will] have a seat in the cabinet" after he is voted into office and have a similar role to other heads of individual opposition parties within the alliance. "But Mahathir may be reluctant to hand over to his former nemesis, and if he drags his feet other scenarios could come into play", said Peter Mumford of the Eurasia Group in a research note.

Mahathir said last week that there was enough evidence to investigate Najib's links to the 1MDB scandal, and had moved to prevent his predecessor from leaving the country.

SEE ALSO: Malaysian election belongs to Mahathir: now what? . Ironically, as Anwar emerges from prison, the prospect of Najib facing prosecution looks increasingly likely.

Mahathir has removed the Najib-era attorney general, treasury chief, and anti-corruption agency chief as he ordered officials to step up investigations.