KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 (Bernama) -- Before being freed, many people - regardless of whether they were supporters of PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim or of other parties parties, could have had doubts whether he could work with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, but the question was answered today.
There were those who still doubted that Anwar, 71, could accept his former boss, who sacked him 20 years ago from the post of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on Sept 2, 1998, before being sacked by UMNO the next day from the deputy president's post and party membership over alleged abuse of power and sexual misconduct.
But Anwar's big heart today answered all the concerns by forgiving and burying hostilities and forgiving Dr Mahathir over what had transpired besides placing the interest of the people and helping the country's agenda of change and not rushing back to the country's political cauldron.
At his first media conference at his home in Bukit Segambut here after being released from prison today following a full pardon from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong , Anwar as was his norm calmly faced the media and even joked when allowing the first question in the press conference to be made by a journalist from a television station which was 'unfriendly' to him following his sacking from UMNO and the government .
"Look, I give the chance to TV3," he said as all other media reacted with laughter.
Anwar, popularly known as 'Pak Syeikh' in his glorious past as deputy prime minister, today underscored two important points, giving support to Dr Mahathir for the reform agenda, which is the agenda of young people in the country.
Secondly, this was not a dictatorial system or an individual management affair and that decisions would be made by a team of Pakatan Harapan leaders together with Dr Mahathir, who is the leader of Pakatan Harapan , which put an end to six decades of rule by the Barisan Nasional in the general election on May 9.
Anwar could no longer hide his ecstasy which shone forth, with him always smiling and being thankful at his release.
"Thank god, thank you Tuanku (His Majesty the King)," were his first words to the media - Bernama - which covered him having an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara accompanied by his wife, who is also Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and party deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali .
His journey today started at the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital, accompanied by officers from the Prisons Department and traffic police to Istana Negara, while his supporters also gathered at the compound of the hospital.
Shouts of 'reformasi' (reformation) and cheering of dozens of supporters welcomed his return as soon as he arrived in the compound of his house at Bukit Segambut Dalam from Istana Negara, at about 1.30 pm.
Local and foreign media were also already thronging the compound of his house, in readiness for his return since 11 am despite being informed that his first free media conference would only be held at 4 pm.
A brief ceremony on his release was held, participated by Prisons Department officials who each shook hands with Anwar before leaving the home in departmental vehicles.
A clear voice and crispness in throwing words showed that the leader had not diminished in spirit and credibility despite more than three years of life behind bars.
After the media conference, Anwar embraced his family members before entering his house.
Anwar was serving a five-year sentence for sodomy and was due to be released on June 8 but was freed today following the royal pardon.