JAKARTA, July 4 (JDN.id) – Former Malaysia’s deputy prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said he held no grudge towards former prime minister Najib Razak. However, a fair trial for Najib’s multi-billion financial scandal needs to proceed, he said.
Anwar, an influential Malaysian politician, finally walked to freedom on May 15 after spending nearly 10 years behind bars in a sodomy case. The last three and a half years were spent during Najib’s term.
see In exchange for his support, Anwar’s wife was given the deputy prime minister post, another milestone in Malaysia’s political history where a woman was given a very important position.
“During my three and a half years of jail term, I personally have forgiven him, but over the robbing of people’s wealth, stealing money, he has to answer the court,” said Anwar, during a visit in Jakarta, the second one since his release.
He was speaking in front of business leaders and government officials at the Executive Center for Global Learning (ECGL) on Wednesday.
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From prison-to-palace, Anwar’s political career may look like the popular ‘Game of Throne’ TV series.
In late 2016 and 2017 Mahathir personally approached him and met him in prison, Anwar said.
Mahathir asked for his support as both were unhappy with the corruptions occurred during Najib’s ruling.
At that time, Anwar questioned himself why he would even want to meet the man who sacked him from the second most powerful position in Malaysia in 1999 during the Asian financial crisis.
Anwar and his wife spent years fighting for what they believed to be politically-driven convictions of graft and sodomy cases.
“Dr. Mahathir came and said ‘I know you. Proud and effective leader […]’ He said to me, ‘Anwar, I think we have to work together, because the present administration is so corrupt, we have to help rebuild this country,” he said.
“We fought (the man) for too long. But look, I am a human being, we make mistakes. We seek blessings from Allah and ask Him for forgiveness.”
Anwar said Malaysia has always looked up to Indonesia, its neighbour with similar Muslim-majority population, who was considered to have been successful in pushing for political reforms.
“We looked up to Indonesia, the struggle, the efforts, the dismantle of totalitarian system that also put a chain on the press freedom,” he said.
“We thought that attempt is phenomenal in the history of the Muslim world,” he added.