Kuala Lumpur:Malaysia's reformist icon Anwar Ibrahim was freed from custody on Wednesday after receiving a royal pardon, transforming a political prisoner into a prime minister-in-waiting following his alliance's stunning election victory.
Mahathir, 92 was sworn in as the leader on Thursday, making him the world's oldest democratically elected leader.
"(In) an initial stage, maybe lasting one or two years, I will be the prime minister", Mahathir told a Wall Street Journal conference in Tokyo via a video link from Malaysia.
"In fact, even from within the prison cell I sensed that the outrage against a corrupt regime was increasing by the day".
Smiling and waving to supporters on Wednesday, Anwar, 70, was surrounded by his family, lawyers and prison guards before getting into a vehicle and driving to the palace for an audience with the king.
A royal pardon would reverse Anwar's conviction and make him eligible to actively participate in politics.
Analysts previously said the National Front might lose the popular vote but hold onto a majority in parliament due to an electoral system that gives more power to rural Malays, the party's traditional supporters.
"The base case is that Mahathir passes the baton to Anwar".
Anwar, 70, smiled and waved to supporters as he walked out of hospital, dressed in a black suit and tie and his hair neatly swept back. Two photos provided with the report and reviewed by Reuters showed a van with the department's logo and a shopping trolley filled with orange boxes.
But in 1998, they disagreed on how to tackle the Asian financial crisis and fell out.
Anwar has served three years of a five-year term for sodomy, a charge he says was trumped up by the government of ousted Prime Minister Najb Razak. He and his supporters say the charge was politically motivated.
The elder statesman has pledged to hand over power within two years, and Anwar said that he wasn't "in a hurry" to take over the reins of leadership.
Mahathir on Saturday stopped Najib from leaving the country, and sacked the attorney general who had cleared him of involvement in a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal.
Asked on Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah whose service contract as Treasury Secretary-General had been shortened to June 14 this year due to any wrongdoings after the secretaries-general of ministries meeting on Monday, Dr Mahathir said the government was now investigating and certain steps needed to be taken to facilitate investigations.
Switzerland and Singapore are among at least 10 nations investigating how billions of U.S. dollars were allegedly diverted from the Malaysian economic development fund, some of it funnelled through Swiss-based banks.
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"Three officers were injured and one later died in hospital", said local police chief Nandang, who goes by one name. They followed a deadly prison riot staged by Islamist prisoners at a high-security jail near Jakarta last week.
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