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Malaysia: Former deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim back in parliament

16th Oct 2018
Malaysia: Former deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim back in parliament

By Omer Faruk Yildiz

 

KUALA LUMPUR (AA): Just six months after the king’s pardon freed him from jail, a former Malaysian deputy prime minister returned to parliament on Monday.

Anwar Ibrahim, 71, leader of Malaysia’s People’s Justice Party, was sworn in after winning a by-election on Saturday in the southern coastal town of Port Dickson.

Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Anwar said that he was pleased to return to parliament, and also denied he had any ambition to be part of the government.

Despite the denial, many analysts see him as destined for a top ministerial post.

Anwar, a former deputy to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, said he would support Mohamad’s parliamentary reforms.

Mohamad, 93, who has reportedly pledged to step down as premier within two years, also said he was pleased to see Anwar’s return.

Prison to parliament

Danyal Balagopal Abdullah, who won the Port Dickson seat in the general elections this May, stepped down to allow for Anwar’s return.

Anwar defeated six other candidates to capture the seat on Saturday.

Before his pardon, Anwar had been serving a five-year sentence that he called politically motivated.

In May, a jubilant Anwar walked out of Cheras Detention Center in Kuala Lumpur after Malaysia’s king granted him a royal pardon and cleared him of all the allegations that landed him in jail.

[Photo: Anwar Ibrahim takes his oath as a Member of Parliament during the swearing-in ceremony at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on October 15, 2018. Photographer: Adli Ghazali/AA]

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