Malaysia’s Anwar returns to parliament after 10-year absence
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) — Malaysia’s opposition figurehead Anwar Ibrahim Tuesday said “there is no turning back” in his political career after returning to parliament after a 10-year absence.
The 60-year-old former deputy prime minister and once heir-apparent to long-time former premier Mahathir Mohamad was sacked and jailed a decade ago for corruption and sodomy, although the sex charge was later overturned.
He now leads a resurgent opposition, although he does not have a seat in parliament after his release from prison in 2004 after spending six years in jail.
Until earlier this month he was banned from standing for office because of the charges and has not said when he intends to stand in a by-election so he can compete for a seat.
Nevertheless on Tuesday he returned to the Parliament hall for the first time in ten years — albeit made to sit in the public gallery — and said it was a new start for him in politics after a turbulent decade.
“It has begun. It is a new beginning. Now that I have entered, I will not be leaving,” he told reporters from the gallery after seeing Malaysian King Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin open a new session of parliament.