Malaysian police raid apartments linked to ousted PM Najib's family

Malaysian police raid apartments linked to ousted PM Najib's family

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia's reformist icon Anwar Ibrahim was freed from custody on Wednesday after receiving a royal pardon, transforming a political prisoner into a prime minister-in-waiting following his alliance's stunning election victory.

Mahathir was once Najib's mentor but he left the former ruling party over the 1MDB affair and joined the opposition.

The elder statesman has pledged to hand over power within two years, and Anwar said that he wasn't "in a hurry" to take over the reins of leadership.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia was committed to pay any debt linked to state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), if it had been guaranteed by the government.

Speaking via video conference at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council Meeting in Tokyo, Dr Mahathir, 92, said: "We are slowly getting to the bottom of things and many of our senior officers are volunteering information accompanied, of course, by documents". Anwar's prison sentence ends June 8, but without a royal pardon he would be barred from politics for five years. "There will be no special powers given except as are given to ministers or deputy ministers or deputy prime ministers", Mahathir said.

Anwar was a firebrand Islamist student activist before his entry into politics, and had served 20 months of jail time in the 1970s after being detained without trial for his activism.

However, Dr Mahathir said on Monday that Lim must be cleared by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission before he can assume the position.

On the eve of last week's election, Anwar penned a note to supporters urging them to back Mahathir, who had brought him into government in the 1980s.

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"The base case is that Mahathir passes the baton to Anwar.

For this we will contact the governments of the countries to recover the money there", Mahathir said.

Mahathir blocked Najib from leaving the country over the weekend.

Analysts said the win by the opposition was a resounding rejection of the political status quo.

Mahathir added that Anwar, after his release, would need to seek a seat in parliament and then might be given a cabinet post, but would play the same role in the coalition as leaders of the other three parties in the alliance.

To this day, Mahathir maintains he sacked Anwar following advice from the police, and that it was the courts who decided Anwar's fate - not him.

Mahathir has replaced the attorney-general and officials at the anti-graft agency, in what appears to be a purge of people seen as close to the former premier. He has warned that Najib will have to "face the consequences" if found guilty of wrongdoing.

"It's truly a blessing with the release of Anwar, we can celebrate Ramadan with him", she said.

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