Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim walks free after royal pardon

Najib is being investigated by the new government over a corruption scandal at the state-owned investment fund

Najib is being investigated by the new government over a corruption scandal at the state-owned investment fund

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 Najb Razak.

"[In] an initial stage, maybe lasting one or two years, I will be prime minister", Mahathir told a Wall Street Journal conference in Tokyo via video link.

The partnership between Mahathir and Anwar was plotted past year, when a new leadership structure for the then opposition was announced, with Anwar its de facto leader and Mahathir named the four-party coalition's chairman.

A royal pardon would reverse Anwar's conviction and make him eligible to actively participate in politics.

In the 1990s, Mahathir was prime minister, Anwar who worked under him was his deputy and clear heir-apparent.

"Anwar bin Ibrahim", said a statement issued by the palace.

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"The base case is that Mahathir passes the baton to Anwar".

However, the Malaysian public saw the two politicians' "rapprochement as something very good", Chin said, and together they toppled Najib and broke the ruling coalition's 60-year grip on the country.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia's historic change of government paves the way for an extraordinary comeback for jailed opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim, who played a key role in helping to secure last week's election victory and has become a prime minister-in-waiting.

Mahathir, who was once Najib's mentor and ally and who is back in power after a prior stint as premier from 1981 to 2003, accused him repeatedly on the campaign trail of being a "thief" over alleged graft at 1MDB.

Low, a friend of Najib's stepson Riza Aziz, had no official role at 1MDB but US investigators say he had considerable influence over its dealings and was often in contact with Najib.

"We will listen to the people and will go to the ground as soon as possible to solve the problem", he said.

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1MDB is now under global probes in at least six countries, including Switzerland and Singapore, over charges of money laundering and bribery.

"Now there is a new dawn for Malaysia".

US investigators say Najib's associates stole $4.5 billion from the fund, some of which landed in Najib's bank account. Mahathir has said he expects to run the government for up to two years but has signalled the reins would be turned over to the Anwar eventually.

In an interview with Reuters, panel member Lim Chee Wee said then Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali had been presented with evidence by MACC in 2015 that Mr Najib had received RM42 million from 1MDB unit SRC International. He and the fund have denied wrongdoing.

To another question that Dr Mahathir has said that EC was purposely delaying the 14th General Election results, he replied: " Even though I had said it, I can't grab hold and throw him to jail.

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