KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 – The petition for a royal pardon sent on behalf of jailed Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was a family initiative, his daughter said. In a statement, Nurul Nuha Anwar said despite the Federal Court upholding the guilty verdict, the family still believes that he was innocent and was being detained as a political prisoner.
“On behalf of our family, I am grateful to God as well as the spirit of solidarity and support from friends and supporters inside and outside the country for my father. “Today is the second week our father Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was detained as a political prisoner Malaysia.”
The petition sent to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, she stressed, was based on principles of justice and attempts to slander Anwar. The family, she said, was now putting this belief in the constitutional processes and principles and that justice would be done when all the facts were thoroughly researched.
“This we believe will be without political or any government interference in accordance with the principle of separation of powers through the institution of monarchy.” 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 Wan Ismail, 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.