Malaysia's reformist icon Anwar Ibrahim freed

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The Malaysian Government will contact several countries to recover the allegedly misappropriated funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The pardons board in Malaysia's capital will meet on Wednesday to discuss Anwar's release and Mahathir said he would be released the same day.

In 2008, once his ban on political participation was lifted, he was hit with further sodomy charges.

Jailed Malaysian reformist Anwar Ibrahim was granted a full pardon on Wednesday and walked out of a hospital in Kuala Lumpur just a week after his alliance scored a shock victory in a general election.

"I and Mahathir have buried the hatchet already, it was a long time ago", he said, his tie and jacket off and sleeves rolled up, after returning from the palace, news agencies reported.

However, Dr Mahathir, who now leads the coalition and was sworn in as prime minister on Thursday, has said it may take up to two years for him to hand over the reins as he wants to stick around to fix the problems he sees plaguing the nation. Their coalition, Pakatan Harapan, won the general election last week.

The Wall Street Journal cited what it called audio remarks from Anwar as saying Mahathir should be given time to achieve his objectives.

Once a high flyer in the ruling party, Anwar was convicted of sodomy - and an additional charge of corruption - in 1998.

Sodomy carries a jail term of up to 20 years in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

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Anwar's release and pardon follows his Alliance of Hope party scoring an upset victory in last week's parliamentary elections, ousting scandal-tainted Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Barisan Nasional coalition, which ruled Malaysia uninterrupted for more than six decades.

Speaking about Mr Mahathir's behaviour during his first prime ministership, Ibrahim Suffian, executive director of the Merdeka Center, an independent survey group, said: "Many of his allies suffered during his time as prime minister".

It was Anwar's second spell in prison. He was acquitted on the charge in 2012, but the Court of Appeal reversed the decision two years later and ordered the five-year sentence.

"For years, we were in the opposition, now we are in the government". His photo with a black eye and one hand raised became a symbol of the political opposition in many posters.

Anwar's wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, stayed with him at the hospital. "There will be no special powers given except as are given to ministers or deputy ministers or deputy prime ministers", Mahathir said.

"I have given my assurance, I am here as a concerned citizen to give complete support to manage the country on the understanding that we are committed to the reform agenda, beginning with the judiciary, media and the entire apparatus", Anwar said in a news conference at his home after he was freed from custody.

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar hailed her father as a symbol of freedom for the people.

"This is one of the sweetest gifts we can have as a family", she said.

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