Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir might stay up to two years in post

Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir might stay up to two years in post

Supporters gathered at the hospital from where the jailed Malaysian reformist leader walked free just a week after his alliance scored a shock victory in a general election.

"This matter is up for discussion, but Anwar has never demanded to be prime minister immediately", she was quoted as telling reporters at a rehabilitation hospital where her husband is recuperating from a shoulder surgery.

But his party said that the prime minister's office had informed them an official committee that issues pardons - and would sign off on his release - would now be meeting on Wednesday, without explaining why.

That hope now looks stronger than ever, with 92-year-old new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad signaling he will yield to his one-time protege in one of the great turnabouts in Asian politics.

"Our litmus test has always been supporting the reform agenda".

Newly elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who was sworn in on Thursday, has vowed to investigate the 1MDB scandal and take action against those who may have abetted or benefited from corruption at the fund.

Anwar, the opposition's de facto leader who is now in jail for a sodomy conviction considered to be politically-charged, agreed to work with his former enemy Mahathir.

Anwar was freed in 2004 but in 2015, he was jailed again - for five years - for sodomizing a former aide, a charge he and his supporters describe as a politically motivated attempt by Najib to end his career.

"My children were quite young during the earlier period of incarceration and that was a hard period for them and (his wife, Wan) Azizah", he said.

Anwar Ibrahim has hailed a "new dawn" for Malaysia in his first news conference following his release from prison on Wednesday (May 16).

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. "Why should I harbour any malice toward him?"

In the WSJ report, Dr Mahathir said Anwar would be one of four party leaders in the ruling coalition and wouldn't be given any "special powers".

Jailed for six years, Anwar says he was kept in solitary confinement, singing 1960s pop tunes to stay sane and reading anything he could get, including the Quran, the Bible and Shakespeare. Jack Seng, another supporter wearing a shirt with a logo of Anwar behind bars, said he thought Mahathir and Anwar would resolve any tensions between them. He said there must be transparency and accountability to ensure the deals were in the nation's interest.

Former Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz was reported as saying the ringgit would perform better, once investors' confidence is restored both in the economy and country. "There may be clashes between these two big personalities but (officials in their) coalition as well as the expectations of Malaysians will provide a check and balance", he said.

Amnesty International said his release was a "landmark moment for human rights" in Malaysia and called for repressive laws muzzling freedom of expression and assembly to be repealed.

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