Anwar: My pardon is unconditional

KUALA LUMPUR: Anwar Ibrahim today thanked his one-time mentor Dr Mahathir Mohamad for his support, saying he has no malice towards anyone including former prime minister Najib Razak following the shock election results last week which pushed Pakatan Harapan to power.

“I have no malice towards Najib or any others,” he said in his first press conference since his release this morning.

Earlier, he walked out a free man at the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital, and shortly after was granted an audience with the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara.

Anwar said his royal pardon was unconditional, adding that he was grateful to be summoned by the king after his release this morning.

He said he was pardoned not because he had committed a crime.

“In my case, we appealed (for pardon) because there was a miscarriage, travesty of justice, a conspiracy to condemn me and assassinate my political character.

“The king has accepted this, that the pardon is complete and unconditional. The entire conviction is erased automatically,” he said.

Anwar today again defended his decision to work with Mahathir, and expressed confidence that the prime minister will be committed to Pakatan Harapan’s policies.

“With Tun Mahathir, I believe we will ensure a smooth transition in future,” he said.

He said he now planned to travel and take up academic posts at universities abroad.

“My wife is the deputy prime minister, she will have no time for me,” he quipped.

Anwar described his journey “from prison to the palace” as something made possible due to the support of the people.

He said he treasured his freedom, saying there were lessons one can learn from prison life.

“It is the value of freedom. No one must be allowed to undergo the same travesty. It is our duty, particularly in Pakatan Harapan, to end this,” he said.