Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Malaysia politician, tapped as next PM, is released from jail

Malaysia politician, tapped as next PM, is released from jail

Asked on Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah whose service contract as Treasury Secretary-General had been shortened to June 14 this year due to any wrongdoings after the secretaries-general of ministries meeting on Monday, Dr Mahathir said the government was now investigating and certain steps needed to be taken to facilitate investigation.

Mr Mahathir has promised to step aside for Mr Anwar to become prime minister within two years.

Anwar has cast a long shadow over Malaysian politics for decades.

A panel apparently launched by the new Mahathir administration told Reuters the MACC found evidence in late 2015 that RM42 million (US$10.6 million) was transferred from a former subsidiary of state fund 1MDB into an account of the then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.

The pair fell out spectacularly and Anwar was jailed, during Mahathir's first period of 22 years as prime minister, for a five year period in 1999 on trumped-up sodomy charges.

The pardons board in Malaysia's capital will meet on Wednesday to discuss Anwar's release and Mahathir said he would be released the same day.

Anwar will travel directly to the palace after his release.

Anwar waved to reporters as he was whisked from a hospital Wednesday where he was recovering from shoulder surgery.

"I and Mahathir have buried the hatchet already, it was a long time ago", Anwar said as he sat at a table under a marquee set up in the driveway of his home, his tie and jacket off and sleeves rolled up, after returning from the palace.

Sankara Nair, Mr Anwar's lawyer, said the opposition politician had seemed "composed and was quite upbeat, but also quite nervous" as he prepared to leave the the hospital.

The former prime minister has been blocked from leaving the country and a complaint has been filed against him to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission alleging he personally blocked an investigation into the US$3.2bn 1MDB scandal.

He said: "They couldn't get here without Mahathir, and they're not about to abandon him". After he was sacked, Anwar was arrested, convicted and jailed on corruption and sodomy charges.

When Anwar made a push to increase his power, Mahathir had him jailed on politically-motivated sodomy charges.

After being freed, Anwar was jailed a second time for sodomy in 2015.

Malaysia's newly elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad attends a news conference in Menara Yayasan Selangor, Pataling Jaya, Malaysia, May 12, 2018.

Anwar said that after working with Mahathir for many years he understands "that he cares deeply about Malaysia and the people of Malaysia".

"We knew the movement of money in Malaysia, but once it left Malaysia, we didn't know where the money went", Lim said.

Earlier, state news agency Bernama and other media reported that a former official of the anti-graft agency, MACC, had lodged a report against Najib on suspicion of blocking probes in cases involving 1MDB and a government pension fund. Mahathir, Malaysia's father of modernisation, has to reinforce a sense of national identity and pride he was once known to have instilled in his countrymen.

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