KUALA LUMPUR • Jailed Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's daughter has demanded a public apology from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad before an alliance between Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and a newly formed party championed by the former prime minister is considered.
Ms Nurul Nuha Anwar said that Dr Mahathir had to own up to "trumped-up" sodomy and corruption charges against Anwar in 1998, reported The Malay Mail Online.
Dr Mahathir had fired Anwar as deputy prime minister on Sept 2, 1998, and the PKR leader was later imprisoned on charges of sodomy and corruption.
"As a daughter who has witnessed the countless torments my father went through the past 18 years, my personal wish would be for Dr Mahathir to publicly apologise and admit the trumped-up charges," said Ms Nurul Nuha.
In a sign of a change in stance, Dr Mahathir had shown up in court on Sept 5 for a hearing on a case filed by Anwar seeking an interim injunction from the High Court to stop the National Security Council Act 2016 from being enforced.
Said Ms Nurul Nuha: "As I said, for me, Dr Mahathir coming to court is a clear gesture admitting his guilt in the conspiracy and it's a good start. However, we will stand behind our father with the decision he makes."
Both leaders have remained tight-lipped on whether Dr Mahathir's presence in court was a form of reconciliation. But Dr Mahathir's son, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, said on Tuesday that an endorsement from Anwar would grease the gears for collaboration between PKR and the newly formed Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM). Datuk Seri Mukhriz is Parti Pribumi's vice-president and Dr Mahathir is the chairman.
PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin said on Tuesday that he would work hand in hand with the Malaysian opposition to free Anwar from prison.
However, he said that the party had to gain federal power before this was possible.
"Only if there is a change of leadership will we be able to determine Anwar's fate," he was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.
He added that there should be no expectation that the current prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, would free Anwar.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin, who was sacked as Umno deputy president earlier this year, added: "If we can agree that setting Anwar free is an important goal, then we can come together to reach a consensus on this matter when we form a new government."
Mr Muhyiddin also said a change of government and the removal of all leaders from the ruling Barisan Nasional were required to solve the country's problems.