DAP’s Lim Kit Siang today called for a royal pardon for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, saying his freedom would be a first step towards recognising Malaysia Day, which falls this Friday, as a National Day.
The DAP parliamentary leader said the coming Malaysia Day should be memorable National Day not only to East Malaysians but also a basis for unity.
“There can be no better start in this process to reunify all Malaysians for a common national cause of greatness for Malaysia than for the release of Malaysian patriot and leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from imprisonment,” said Lim, who reminded that last year’s Malaysia Day was marred by the red shirts rally organised by Umno leaders and right wing groups, which saw several racially-charged remarks uttered.
“For this reason, I call for Anwar Ibrahim to be given the royal pardon and freed from Sungai Buloh prison on Malaysia Day as a first step to make Malaysia Day a National Day for all Malaysians and not just in Sabah and Sarawak,” he added.
Anwar is now serving his five-year imprisonment at the Sungai Buloh Prison after the Federal Court maintained his conviction for sodomy. He has filed for a review of the decision due to be heard next month.
Lim’s calls comes a week after Anwar and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who sacked him in 1998, made a rare gesture of reconcilitian.
Dr Mahathir turned up in court on September 5 to give his support to his former protege over a legal challenge of the National Security Council Act.
Meanwhile, Lim also paid tribute to several achievements by the country’s sportsmen at global competitions, including the recent three-gold wins by Malaysian athletes at the Rio Paralympics.
He said their victories proved “Malaysians are capable of world-class achievements and not just be ‘jaguh kampong’ in all fields of human endeavour”.
“The Malaysian Olympians and Paralympians should be an inspiration for all Malaysians.
“Let Malaysians make 53rd Malaysia Day a memorable National Day not only for Sabahans and Sarawakians in terms of meaningful steps to restore genuine autonomy to Sabah and Sarawak, but to unite all Malaysians for a common national cause of greatness for Malaysia,” added Lim.