KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is scheduled to meet the Yang DiPertuan Agong at Istana Negara at 12pm today (May 16) after being freed by a royal pardon.
PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali confirmed that Anwar, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and him have been invited to meet the Agong at 12pm.
"I am here to deliver the invitation letter to Anwar for the meeting with the Agong today (May 16)," he told reporters at the Cheras Rehabilitation Centre today.
PKR de facto leader Anwar is expected to be released from the Rehabilitation Centre after the Pardons Boards convenes at 11am, said PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil.
"He is expected to be released after the Pardon Boards meets. All documentation to facilitate Anwar's release will be done at the centre," said Fahmi, when met outside the centre.
Anwar is recovering from surgery at the centre.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who announced the release yesterday (May 15), said the PKR leader would have to contest a parliamentary seat after being pardoned and could then possibly be appointed to the Cabinet.
Speaking at a Wall Street Journal event in Tokyo via video-conferencing, he said Anwar’s appointment to the Cabinet has not been decided.
Dr Mahathir said he would continue to serve as Prime Minister for “maybe one or two years” before stepping down to make way for Anwar.
He added that he would continue to play a role “in the background” after stepping down.
“In the initial stages, maybe lasting one or two years, I will have to be the Prime Minister and I will have to run the country.
“The reason why the public supported us is because they have faith in the leadership of (what was then) the Opposition to resolve some of the problems,” Dr Mahathir said.
Asked on the role that Anwar will have before he becomes Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir said: “We are a coalition of four parties and all four will have equal strength and equal influence in the coalition.
“He is leader of one of the coalition parties so I expect him to play the same role as the leaders of the other three parties.”
Anwar was sentenced to five years’ jail by the Court of Appeal in 2014 after he was found guilty of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
Anwar had earlier been acquitted of the offence by the Kuala Lumpur High Court in 2012.
In 2015, the Federal Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s ruling.
Under Article 42(1) of the Federal Constitution, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the power to grant pardons, reprieves and respites for offences committed in Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.
The Pardons Board meeting was originally thought to be yesterday (May 15), but PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said it has now been changed to today.
Bernama reported that Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V hoped that all procedures relating to the proceedings of the Pardons Board Committee for a royal pardon for Anwar would be finalised today.
It quoted Istana Negara Datuk Pengkalan Bijaya Diraja Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Ab Aziz as saying in a statement on Tuesday night that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was pleased and satisfied with all procedures related to the proceedings of the Pardons Board Committee on the matter.