Speaking at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday (20 December), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he did not ask for the royal pardon granted to him in 2018, but it was the then Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, who took the initiative to grant him the royal pardon.
He then clarifies that although he objects to his past sentences over sodomy charges and the manner in which his cases were handled, he had never personally sought a pardon.
“The king at the time had called me when I was still in the rehabilitation centre, and he told me that he would give me a full pardon.”
“He said he had followed my court trial and said it was a clear travesty of justice. That was the phrase he used.”
“I want to make it clear, on the record, in the hansard,” he said, reported New Straits Times.
There were breaches in principles of justice
Anwar said that there were breaches in the principles of justice, including coercing individuals into becoming witnesses or opening investigations even before a police report was lodged.
“We rejected the sentences which violated the principles of law. 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,” he said.
Earlier, Opposition leader, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin raised a question about Anwar’s sexuality during the vote of confidence to the Prime Minister.
In 1999, Anwar was jailed for six years for allegedly sodomising a former aide and, a year later, another nine years for corruption.
Anwar was freed in 2004 after the Federal Court overturned his sodomy conviction. However, he was imprisoned a second time for sodomy in 2015.
Anwar was granted full pardon by Sultan Muhammad V in May 2018.