Zahid: Pardon petition must be heard first


(Bernama) – The status of Anwar Ibrahim’s application to attend the Dewan Rakyat sitting will only be known after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong makes a decision on the pardon petition filed by the opposition leader’s family.

Home Affairs Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he had received a letter from Anwar’s lawyer R Sivarasa on the matter and had referred it to the Attorney-General and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia.

“As is known, it is subject to legal interpretation but what’s more important is that the Pardons Board has not met so of course our decision is also delayed,” he said after receiving a courtesy call from Singapore High Commissioner to Malaysia Vanu Gopala Menon, here today.

He was responding to reporters when asked about the status of Anwar’s application to attend the parliamentary session which begins on March 9.

Zahid said the Home Ministry, which oversees prison affairs, could only make a decision on the position of an MP in accordance with the legal interpretation.

On February 24, Anwar’s wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, and two of their children, Nurul Izzah and Nurul Nuha, filed a petition for pardon to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah.

On February 10, the Federal Court rejected Anwar’s final appeal and retained his jail sentence for sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, in 2008.