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Saturday, February 28, 2015

People can also appeal to Agong to free Anwar, says PKR

Subang MP R. Sivarasa says the public may add to calls to free Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is jailed after the Federal Court upheld his sodomy conviction, by writing to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, February 28, 2015.Subang MP R. Sivarasa says the public may add to calls to free Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is jailed after the Federal Court upheld his sodomy conviction, by writing to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, February 28, 2015.
People who want to see opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim freed from prison can appeal to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, said a PKR leader, following the submission of a petition by his family for a royal pardon.
The party’s Subang MP R. Sivarasa said the public could express their pleas for Anwar’s freedom by writing to the Agong or submitting a memorandum to Istana Negara.
"They can do that, organise themselves to lobby the king. The fact that the petition (for a royal pardon) is there... This is not a legal process any more.
Anwar's family sent a petition for a royal pardon to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah at Istana Negara on Tuesday, hours before the 14-day period expired.
A royal pardon is the only way Anwar can get out of jail after the Federal Court upheld his sodomy conviction and five-year jail sentence on February 10.
Sivarasa said many people would make representations to the Agong on the matter and so could the public.
However, the Agong has the final say whether to grant the pardon or not, he said.
"For example, if the Pardons Board says don't pardon Anwar Ibrahim, the king can say he doesn't agree and grant the pardon. He has the power."
The PKR lawmaker and lawyer said this was different from the procedure with the Pardons Board at the state level.
"The state's Pardons Board is different. They (the sultans and governors) have to follow the advice of the board.
"But in the Federal Territories, the board is chaired by the Agong," he said.
Apart from the Agong, others in the board are Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor, and three other members appointed by the Agong on the recommendation of the prime minister.
Earlier during the forum, when asked about the standard operating procedure (SOP) involving the royal pardon, Sivarasa said to his understanding there did not appear to be one.
He said they had ventured into unchartered territory particularly with Anwar's pardon application because it was filed by Anwar's family and not himself.
He said there was no time frame for a decision to be made on a pardon application and they did not even know when the board would meet to discuss the application.
"The king may even decide not to deal with it and to just let it be... we really don't know. But I believe the king will be subjected to all sorts of lobbying, including from us, the international community and the people.
"Generally, Tuanku Abdul Halim is thought of quite highly and is reputed for his integrity... I  hope he will do the right thing."
Sivarasa also said the pardon application was not an admission of Anwar’s guilt, although this was the talk among the media and in the rival coalition Barisan Nasional.
He said Anwar's family stated in their pardon petition that their father was a prisoner of conscience, adding that there was no room for the kind of interpretation propagated by some quarters.
"What you see in the mainstream media is propaganda.”
- TMI

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