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POLITICS: Anwar Ibrahim returns to public life infographic
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Roller-coaster life of Anwar Ibrahim

Graphic News

May 16, 2018 -- Malaysia's reformist icon Anwar Ibrahim has been freed from custody after receiving a royal pardon, transforming a political prisoner into a prime minister-in-waiting following last week’s remarkable election victory by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Anwar spent nine of the past 20 years in prison on charges he insists were politically motivated, having been jailed on two occasions, the first time by Mahathir in 1998.

His sentence was set to end June 8 but last week’s unexpected election win, which ended the National Front’s 60-year rule, led to his swift release.

Ensuring the full royal pardon of Anwar was a key part of the agreement between Mahathir and the opposition when it was decided in January he would swap sides and run as their leader in the election, united by a joint desire to oust embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak.

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