Malaysian prime min­is­ter prom­ises to step aside

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

KUALA LUMPUR: When An­war Ibrahim fi­nally walks to free­dom, it will be partly thanks to Ma­hathir Mo­hamad, Malaysia’s sec­ond-timearound prime min­is­ter, who has ad­mit­ted he played a part when Ibrahim was first put be­hind bars in 1998.

Mo­hamad, who was sworn in as the coun­try’s leader on Thurs­day af­ter win­ning this week’s gen­eral elec­tion, has al­ready sought a royal par­don for Ibrahim and has promised to step aside for his friend­turned- foe- turned- ally to be­come prime min­is­ter.

Mo­hamad – at the age of 92, now the world’s old­est elected leader – is bask­ing in the lime­light af­ter an elec­tion vic­tory that has taken him back to the prime min­is­ter’s of­fice he ran with an iron fist for 22 years.

Ibrahim, 70, made his name as a fire­brand Is­lamic youth leader and be­came a mem­ber of par­lia­ment in his mid-thir­ties.

Mo­hamad in­vited Ibrahim to join the main gov­ern­ment party in 1982 to bridge the gap be­tween its Malay na­tion­al­ist image and its Is­lamic as­pi­ra­tions. – Reuters

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