KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 – Could Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s release from the Sungei Buloh Prison last May have been due to a simple commuting of his five-year sentence over his sodomy conviction, and not a full Royal Pardon?
Prominent human rights lawyer Siti Kasim took to Facebook today to suggest such a possibility, claiming that she could not locate the full contents of the document signed by the Agong last May that enabled Anwar’s release.
AG Tommy Thomas questioned over Anwar’s status
She took up the matter with Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, urging him to clarify if Anwar was thus eligible to contest the upcoming Port Dickson by-election on Oct 13.
Siti Kasim said she had written to Thomas, asking him to state clearly if Anwar’s release was due to his five-year jail sentence being commuted or a royal pardon by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as recommended by the Parole Board.
“Did the Parole Board recommend a commutation or a Pardon?” she asked.
Anwar was serving his five year sentence after his March 2014 conviction for sodomy was upheld by the Federal Court in February 2015. He had been jailed after being found guilty of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
Anwar released just days after PH wins GE14
Following Pakatan Harapan’s historic triumph in the 14th general election on May 9, Anwar was reported as having received a full Royal pardon and released from prison in matter of days.
The royal pardon meant he was also able to return to active politics and could stand for election.
Siti Kasim claims she had only seen the first page of the royal order to release Anwar.
“I hope I can have sight of the rest of the order/letter. Has any of my readers read or sighted the full order/letter?” she asked in the post on her Facebook page.
Anwar could be disqualified as MP
Siti Kasim has been among the most vocal critics of PKR’s move to have Port Dickson MP Danyal Rajagopal Abdullah quit in order to allow Anwar to stand in the ensuing by-election just four months after GE14.
According to Siti Kasim, Thomas must respond urgently to her questions as it could mean Anwar was disqualified from being an MP under the Federal Constitution, if he had not received the full Royal Pardon, as previously thought.
Article 48(1)(e) of the Constitution states that an MP is disqualified if he is sentenced to at least a year in prison. He is also banned from active politics for five years after serving the sentence.