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Malaysia's Mahathir says king willing to grant full pardon for Anwar

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If indeed Anwar Ibrahim helms the government in due course of time, Mahathir will sacrifice the chance to right the wrongs that he was responsible for. She is the first female deputy premier in Malaysia but the current set-up is seen as transitional as Mahathir has agreed to hand over the baton to Anwar once he is freed.

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is set to be released from custody on Tuesday, and granted a full royal pardon, local media reported.

Malaysiakini added that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be visiting Anwar soon at the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital in Kuala Lumpur, where he is recovering from an operation.

Channel NewsAsia understands that the paperwork for the release is being arranged.

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar addresses the media at Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital.

The southeast Asian nation's political landscape has been shaped for almost two decades by a feud between Anwar and Mahathir, whose decision to sack Anwar as his deputy sparked an opposition movement, Reformasi, or Reform, in 1998.

She said: "He followed the event of the prime minister being sworn in and the victory. even though he was a spectator this time not within the ring, so to speak, but he has contributed".

At 92, he is the world's oldest elected leader.

In 2015, Anwar, 70, was jailed for five years for sodomising a former aide, a charge he described as a politically motivated attempt by former Prime Minister Najib Razak to end his career. He said Anwar's wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who stood beside Mahathir as he made the announcement, will be the deputy prime minister in his Cabinet.

It is unclear how long Mahathir will remain prime minister after Anwar's release. "We have to do what is permitted by the laws of this country", Mahathir said.

Malaysian markets were closed and will reopen on Monday, but overseas investors were nervous about Mr Najib's ouster after a decade in office.

But he was also credited for transforming his southeast Asian country from a sleepy backwater into a modern industrialised nation.

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