PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim revealed that the full royal pardon that was granted to him by the then Yang di-Pertuan Agong in May 2018 was made of the King’s own accord.
The Tambun MP said this in the Dewan Rakyat today as he sought to clarify questions about the events that unfolded behind the scene that had led to his pardon and release from prison following Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) victory in the 14th general election (GE14).
The PH chairman further stressed that despite his objections to his past sentences over sodomy charges and the manner in which his cases were handled, he had never personally sought a pardon.
“Make it clear on the record in the Hansard. We rejected the sentences which violated the principles of law,” he told the lower house today (Dec 20).
“In the first (sodomy) case, for example, a charge was made up claiming the incident happened in a building that did not exist then, certain individuals were forced to be witnesses, and a probe was conducted even before a police report was made.”
According to Anwar, when he was serving his sentence in 2018, the then Agong, Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan had called him while he was at a rehabilitation centre.
“He said, ‘Anwar, I would like to give you a full pardon because I have been following your case and there is a clear travesty of justice’,” Anwar was reported as saying by The Vibes.
“And I quote, the phrase used by the Agong was a travesty of justice. He said ‘as such, I will give you a full pardon soonest possible’.”
Machang MP Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal then attempted to interject Anwar’s explanation, urging the prime minister to instead focus on today’s order of business on the Consolidated Fund (Expenditure on Account) Bill 2022.
In response, Anwar said, “I will get to that in a minute. I know my statement may be harsh to you because you (the Opposition) have been playing up on this. But believe me, I will only take two more minutes to explain for everyone’s benefit.”
The news portal further reported Anwar as saying that while Wan Fayhsal may not be aware of the full situation due to him only joining politics recently, other senior PAS lawmakers had previously been involved in dismissing the sodomy accusations against him.
Anwar was responding to Opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin’s gibe yesterday when the Larut MP had cited the headline of a report by an Italian news agency yesterday that had referred to him as Malaysia’s “first full-blown homosexual elected prime minister in an Islamic country”.
Earlier today, Communications and Digital minister Fahmi Fadzil has called out Hamzah for citing a report by Agenzia Nova, which he said was not even on a Reuters list of the most-read news portals in Italy.
“What is this (Italian) Agenzia Nova website that Hamzah Zainudin was citing? Does it even have any credibility?” the Lembah Pantai MP asked.
Anwar was imprisoned over sodomy charges in 1998 and again in 2015, before his pardon in 2018. – Dec 20, 2022
Main pic credit: Bernama