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Malaysia’s New Leader Agrees to a Pardon for an Old Foe, Anwar Ibrahim

“It is going to be a full pardon, which of course means he should not only be pardoned, he should be released immediately when he is pardoned,” Mr. Mahathir said. “After that he will be free to participate fully in politics.”

Mr. Mahathir also said his new government intended to look into allegations of electoral fraud.

“In the last two days there weren’t any speeches made, only monies distributed,” he said. “We will properly investigate all these things.”

Malaysia’s New Leader Agrees to a Pardon for an Old Foe, Anwar Ibrahim
Malaysia’s New Leader Agrees to a Pardon for an Old Foe, Anwar Ibrahim

He said the government would also review the performance of the country’s anti-corruption commission and whether it had shown deference to any political parties.

“Our intention is to go for people who have shown a tendency to be corrupt or had committed known crimes,” Mr. Mahathir said when asked about an investigation into billions of dollars missing from 1Malaysia Development Berhad, the government investment fund that Mr. Najib once led.

The opposition’s victory was the result of an alliance of former rivals, including Mr. Mahathir and people who have opposed him and his former party. They were unified primarily by their disdain for Mr. Najib, and his ouster raises questions about whether such cooperation will continue.

Politicians who were until days ago members of the opposition say they expect the alliance to hold.

Tony Pua, a member of Parliament from the Democratic Action Party, said that unlike in the past, when Mr. Mahathir’s party dominated the governing coalition, his party is no longer the strongest.

“Consensus is required, and the experience working with him over the past six months certainly confirms he is more than able to make decisions consensually,” Mr. Pua said.

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