Jailed Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim to receive royal pardon

BP_Anwar

The new prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, is no radical political outsider.

He said the king has indicated he is willing to give an immediate pardon that would free Anwar, who was jailed in 2015 on sodomy charges he said were fabricated by the then-government to crush the opposition.

"I take this opportunity to wish health and success for Your Eminence and prosperity and glory for the Malaysian nation from God", Rouhani added in his message.

Malaysia's scandal-ridden former leader Najib Razak was hit with a travel ban Saturday as speculation mounted he was about to flee the country following his shock election loss, in a possible bid to avoid prosecution over a massive financial scandal.

Fidelity International said in a note that the new government was likely to go back to the drawing board over large-scale infrastructure projects: "Mahathir in the past has said he will scrap the large "unnecessary" mega projects such as the [high speed rail] as he disagreed with the large debt taken to fund these projects".

Official results showed that Mahathir's coalition won 113 seats, one more than the number required to rule.

Under Malaysia's election rules, the king picks the next prime minister.

Mahathir, was the longest-serving Prime Minister of the country between 1981-2003. His return from retirement makes him the oldest elected leader in the world.

Malaysia's 5-year credit default swaps, the cost to insure against a Malaysia debt default in the next five years, climbed to an 11-month peak in late US trading on Thursday.

More news: She Was Forced to Marry. He Raped Her, So She Killed Him

"I have to manage four presidents of four different parties", Mahathir said of his coalition. It also expressed its hope to continue bilateral cooperation with Malaysia under Taiwan's New Southbound Policy.

On whether he will hold two ministerial portfolios, he said that will be determined later.

TRT World spoke with Ibrahim Suffian, Director of the Merdeka Center - an independent Malaysian research firm - who said Malaysian people demanded change and got it at the ballot box.

But in a remarkable turnaround, the pair reconciled and joined forces as they sought to eject Najib, who was accused of stealing billions of dollars from a state investment fund that he set up and oversaw.

As it became clear that BN was facing a historic wipeout, Najib disappeared for hours and only surfaced yesterday morning to tell a press conference that he accepted the people's will, although he stopped short of conceding defeat.

Whether Mahathir can repeat the success of his first tenure in office that ended 15 years ago remains to be seen.

This perception was fueled by U.S. Department of Justice filings in a civil lawsuit indicating that almost $30 million of the money stolen was used to buy jewelry for his wife, including a rare 22-carat pink diamond set in a necklace. Najib and the fund deny any wrongdoing. They're in coalition, but with only 13 seats in parliament Mr Mahathir's new party Bersatu is much smaller than Anwar's Keadilan, with 47.

Sanders said the United States looks forward to continuing to work closely with Malaysia to further strengthen the partnership between the two countries and to address common worldwide and regional challenges.

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