'Thank you, Tuanku,' says pardoned Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR: "Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), thank you Tuanku (Your Majesty)".

That was the response from Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim following his audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, at Istana Negara after he was granted a full pardon today.

Anwar said this to Bernama before he left Istana Negara after the audience.

Anwar, 71, was released immediately following the full pardon that was decided by the Pardons Board.

He said with a smile that his intention was to return home and spend time with his family. Anwar's wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and their daughter, Nurul Izzah, were with him.

Dr Wan Azizah said she was grateful for the release of her husband. "It was a most meaningful moment. I am grateful and relieved. It is a beginning to build the nation," she said.

Meanwhile, Nurul Izzah said she was grateful for the release of her father, who is also the PKR de facto leader, and described that justice was done through the release.

"I wish to convey my deepest gratitude and thank you to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong," she said.

PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the party leadership would set Anwar's schedule so that the former deputy prime minister could play a more active role in national politics.

"Thank god, we are grateful all the problems are solved due the consent of the Tuanku in giving full pardon to Anwar and to restore his right as a citizen to continue to carry out his duties and responsibilities to the people and the country," he said.

Anwar’s appeal for full pardon was tabled and considered at the 51st meeting of the Pardons Board of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya today.

According to the official statement of Istana Negara, Sultan Muhammad V, on the advice of the Pardons Board of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, had consented that the appeal for the full pardon of Anwar be allowed and that he was to be freed immediately starting today in accordance with Article 42 of the Federal Constitution.

Anwar was sentenced to five years in prison in February 2015 after the Federal Court retained a conviction for sodomy.

Anwar, imprisoned in Sungai Buloh Prison, is scheduled to be released on June 8. — Bernama