PETALING JAYA: The president of the newly-registered Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) is ready to work with other Opposition parties to secure the release of Anwar Ibrahim, The New Straits Times (NST) reported today.
Former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin said he was willing to pursue the matter as it was a request he had received from members of the public.
However, he said he could only do something about it if PPBM was part of a new government that took over from the Barisan Nasional (BN) and his supporters gave him the green light to do so.
“We need radical reforms in the electoral system in order to set all Malaysians free. Only if there is a change in leadership, will we be able to determine the fate of Anwar.
“We cannot expect (Prime Minister) Najib (Razak) to free Anwar,” the daily quoted Muhyiddin as saying at a seminar organised by PKR.
Muhyiddin was also said to have expressed some sympathy for Anwar having to suffer a five-year prison sentence.
However, the NST report did not mention if the Pagoh MP had stated his opinion on the guilt or innocence of the former Opposition leader on the charge of sodomy.
“If we can agree that setting Anwar free is an important goal, then we can come together to reach a consensus on this matter when we form a new government,” he said, according to NST.
PPBM became the latest political party in the country after its application for registration was approved by the Registrar of Societies (RoS) last week.
Aside from Muhyiddin, its key office-bearers are former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as chairman and former Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir as vice-president.
Muhyiddin called for all Opposition political parties to unite and support PPBM in going up against BN in the next general election.
“To solve the problems, we must change the government, and all BN leaders should be removed.
“I will also not want to rejoin Umno as the party has been beset by corruption and mismanagement for years,” he said, according to NST.
Anwar was convicted of sodomy on March 7, 2014, by the Court of Appeal, which overturned a lower court ruling which had acquitted him the year before.
On Feb 10 last year, Anwar failed in his final appeal to the Federal Court, which upheld the Court of Appeal ruling, and was sentenced to five years’ in jail for sexual misconduct against his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.