KUALA LUMPUR Feb 25 – Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has confirmed receiving the petition for a royal pardon from Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s family. In a statement issued today, Pandikar said the Opposition leader’s status as Permatang Pauh Member of Parliament would remain intact until the Yang di-Pertuan Agong decides on the matter.
“As such, I would only be able to issue a declaration under Article 54 of the Federal Constitution on the vacancy of the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat upon disqualification as an MP under paragraph (c) Clause (4) Article 48 of the Federal Constitution.” The possibility of a by-election being held in Penang was cast in doubt after a last minute appeal by Anwar’s family members to seek a royal pardon today following his sodomy conviction.
PKR president and Anwar’s wife Dr Wan Azizah, his daughters Nurul Izzah and Nurul Nuha submitted the application for the royal pardon at the Istana Negara and Parliament. 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. 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.