KUALA LUMPUR Feb 24 – The Permatang Pauh by-election may not be held, following a last minute appeal by Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s family members to seek a royal pardon today following his sodomy conviction. According to a report by The Malay Mail Online, it is learnt that Anwar’s wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and his second daughter, Nurul Nuha Anwar, will be submitting the application for the royal pardon at the Istana Negara today.
Subject to approval and subsequent pardon by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Anwar could be freed and would be allowed to retain the parliamentary seat. According to Anwar’s eldest daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar, a precedent had already been set prior to the current application. She was referring to the cases of DAP leaders Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng who similarly had applied for a royal pardon during their stints in prison before. Additionally, according to the report, Nurul Izzah is currently submitting an official letter on the royal pardon to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.
“An appeal for a royal pardon will be submitted today. The courts may have pronounced a guilty verdict, but our father and we as a family, continue to state that he is innocent. “By virtue of Article 42 of the Federal Constitution, we hope that the royal institution will, in the name of justice based on all the facts, grant a pardon,” she was quoted as saying in a statement. Meanwhile, PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil confirmed the matter, adding that the party would be issuing a statement regarding it soon. On Feb 10, the Federal Court upheld Anwar’s conviction and five-year prison sentence for sodomising the politician’s former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, in 2008.