Mahathir can still undo one of the greatest injustices of his 22-year rule – to secure a pardon for Anwar Ibrahim in the same way he had secured a pardon for Harun Idris

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling JayaWednesday): he Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has still 10 days to undo one of the greatest injustices of his 22-year rule – the sacking and incarceration of his third Deputy Prime Minister and  one-time designated successor, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. 

In Bangkok yesterday, Mahathir said he would pardon Anwar if he had the powers of the king in his country.  He said he  wished he was the king of Malaysia when asked by a reporter whether as a magnanimous gesture he would consider releasing Anwar on his retirement at the end of this month.


He said if he was the constitutional monarch, “I can just grant (him) a pardon on my birthday”. But, he hastened to add, “I am only a prime minister and I have to obey the law.”


What he said, however, was contrary to what he had said in Bangkok two days earlier on  his role in securing the pardon and release from jail of the former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Harun Idris, who  died of a stroke at the age of 78 earlier on Sunday.

Mahathir had said he was  indebted to Harun for bringing him back into UMNO  after he was expelled from the party in 1969.

He said: "I acknowledge his contributions to UMNO  and to myself. Although, we were not close, the fact is that he was the one who brought me back (into UMNO)."  He  said that after he was expelled from the party, Harun made every endeavour to bring him back into UMNO  and even went to see him in Alor Star.

Mahathir said he was sad when Harun was imprisoned in 1976 for corruption and when he became Prime Minister in 1981, he tried to free him.  In 1982, Harun was granted the royal pardon after serving three and half years of his sentence.

Anwar has already served a longer jail sentence than Harun had  ever served, and the least Mahathir should do as one of his last tasks as the longest-serving Prime Minister of 22 years before he steps down on Oct. 31  is to  secure a pardon for Anwar in the same way he had  secured a pardon for Harun.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman