Malaysian former deputy PM Anwar to be released on Wednesday

Malaysian former deputy PM Anwar to be released on Wednesday

Anwar began serving a five-year jail sentence in February 2015 after the Federal Court upheld his conviction and sentence on a charge of having sodomised a former personal aide.

For many Malaysians, it has been surreal to see Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah sharing the same stage with Tun Dr Mahathir, the man who first put her husband in jail back in 1998, in what was seen as a politically-motivated move.

Anwar, who was the deputy prime minister during Mahathir's premiership in the 1990s, is now in a hospital in Cheras, waiting for the Pardons Board meeting, scheduled for Wednesday morning, said Bernama.

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. This time (in jail) it is my children's children who I missed deeply.

"But as a family, we were in concert that we can not expect the people of Malaysia to take a risk for their freedom if we ourselves were not prepared to take those same risks". But Anwar needs to win a by-election to become a parliamentary member first.

"The Pardons Board is scheduled to sit at 11am tomorrow (Wednesday) and we won't know how long it will take before he is set free", she said to The Star.

His freedom is expected to ease fears of a growing rift within the newly formed coalition government, after differences erupted between supporters of Mahathir and Anwar over cabinet positions and Anwar's role in the party. He and his supporters have said the charges are politically motivated.

"Our litmus test has always been supporting the reform agenda. The animosity which preoccupies some observers is not an issue for me".

He was found guilty of corruption in 1999 andgiven a five years jail, and the following year was also found guilty of sodomy. Anwar's wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, endorsed Mahathir and served as his deputy in the coalition to oust Najib.

Dr Wan Azizah said the government would work tirelessly to deliver their 100-day promises made during campaigning for the 14th general election.