“You actually believe in the ideals far more strongly than ever before,” says Anwar Ibrahim. “When you talk about freedom, I understand from those years of incarceration, what un-freedom is about.”
Malaysia’s former deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, jailed for sodomy three years ago, walked free from prison in May after receiving a royal pardon. That was initiated by the new prime minister under whom he was first sent to prison – Mahathir Mohamad. Ninety-two-year-old Mahathir was elected on a promise to release his long-time rival and has pledged to hand over power within two years. The BBC’s Lyse Doucet asked Mr Anwar whether he trusted Mr Mahathir.
Aljazeera’s 101 East: Malaysia’s New Dawn
Now pardoned by the King, the once high-flying politician is finally back in public and back in the political arena at this defining moment in his country’s history. “Now there is a new dawn for Malaysia. I must thank the people of Malaysia. Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Iban. Entire spectrum of our Malaysians, regardless of race and religion who stood by the principles of democracy and freedom. They demand change and it is our duty now to ensure that this mandate given to Pakatan Harapan will honour this commitment,” Anwar told supporters the night of his release from prison.