Malaysian Politician Anwar Ibrahim Released from Prison

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Anwar has come tantalizingly close to leading the nation before.

The 70-year-old Anwar walked out of a hospital in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday where he was receiving treatment for a shoulder injury, and headed for a meeting with King Sultan Muhammad V. A summary that was made available at the time said senior officials at scandal-plagued 1MDB withheld information from its board and took some decisions without the board's approval.

"Foolishly I thought by doing the video - which I felt was fairly neutral and factual - and the plane from Kota Kinabalu would appease the government and protect the jobs of allstars (AirAsia staff) and more importantly, the very essence of allowing more than 80 million people to fly every year with low fares", he said. He and his supporters have said the charges are politically motivated by Najib to end his career. But the sombre political sword hanging over the born-again regime is Sino-Malaysian relations.

The charismatic Anwar was a rising political star in the 1990s under Mahathir, heading various ministries and earning praise overseas as a reformer.

As a matter of fact, despite being labeled as an autocratic leader by western media and his notorious fondness for grandiose undertakings during his time in office as Malaysia's prime minister between 1981 and 2003, Mahathir has been leaving a strong impression among his fellow citizens over the years.

Anwar also said he harboured no malice against Dr Mahathir, despite the latter sacking him in 1998, prior to his conviction for sodomy and corruption.

Anwar was sacked and charged with corruption and sodomy. He was later produced in court with a black eye from a beating by the police chief.

On Saturday, Channel NewsAsia cited Nurul Izzah, Anwar's daughter, as saying that his father will be released on Tuesday.

Anwar can not directly join the government anytime soon.

Their three-party alliance capitalized on rising anger over corruption and UMNO oppressions to shock the regime in 2008 and 2013 polls.

Anwar is expected to meet supporters at a rally later Wednesday.

With his broad appeal across Malaysia's various ethnic communities, he was considered the glue holding the alliance together.

Analysts say tensions in the new government are possible due to the dominance of the two leaders — Mahathir is the chairman of the alliance and Anwar is its de facto leader. For more on these hard questions, see my new World Politics Review article.

Sure enough, not long after Anwar's removal, the tenuous opposition alliance crumbled amid internal dissension.

Abdul Razak Idris - former intelligence and investigations director of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission - lodged reports with the body alleging Najib tried to stop the probe into losses at 1MDB, reported AFP.

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