PETALING JAYA – May 17, 2018: It was undeniably a much anticipated event but it was also undoubtedly the usual rhetorical political address to loyalists parked below on the Jalan Timur field.
PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, just free hours earlier during the day from a five-year jail sentence for sodomy after being pardoned by the Pardons Board, told them last night to give their undivided support to new Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad but also cautioned them not to not turn a blind to the flaws of the government that deserves to be booted out if indeed there were indiscretions.
“But I am confident he (Mahathir) can bring about positive change to the country, so I implore the rakyat (people) to give his administration the time and space it needs to do that.”
Anwar had been serving time since 2015 for sodomising an aide but the pardon has set him free to make a political comeback, although this is not expected anytime soon, say leaders from his party that is led otherwise by his wife Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
In his speech, Anwar declared that the pardon had exonerated him of the 2015 verdict.
“I was pardoned because of miscarriage of justice. The reason was as such because the verdict was politically motivated. Now, I am cleansed. No record whatsoever,” he said.
Elsewhere the speech was littered with phrases like “struggle for the country and rakyat” but long-time Anwar observers noticed that something was noticeably missing from this Anwar when he spoke, not just at the field but also at his press conference after being pardoned.
Anwar told the crowd, which cheered each time they heard something pleasing to the ears, that he would be going overseas for a while.