Mahathir throws weight behind campaign for Anwar’s release

21 May

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamed has backed the campaign calling for his former nemesis Anwar Ibrahim’s release.

Dr Mahathir penned his signature on a petition and signed on a poster to free his former deputy in a move that stunned delegates who clapped and cheered at the annual Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Congress on Sunday (May 21).

PKR has called upon all sides to unite against the ruling Barisan National (BN) government, in the hopes of unseating it in the upcoming general election in order to free Anwar.

PKR President, Dr Wan Azizah made the emotional appeal in her opening speech.

“Today marks the 832nd day since my husband was jailed as a political prisoner….. he went to jail defending the people , now it’s time for the people to defend him and ensure we win the coming election, GE14 in order to free him!”

In an hour long speech at a packed Raja Muda hall in Shah Alam that saw her break down several times, Dr Wan Azizah made several electoral promises including abolishing the unpopular goods and services tax (GST) at 6 per cent, largely blamed for the rising cost of living in the country.

She also proposed replacing the minimum wage with living wage, including introducing a “better jobs, higher pays” scheme and to improve the livelihood of settlers under the decades old Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA).

Anwar, was sentenced in 2015 to five years jail over sodomy charges. But critics argue it was a political move to keep him out of politics.

The general election must be held by next year while there is speculation that the polls may take place this year.