Malaysia' Anwar says 'wiser, healthier' after political imprisonment


Posted at Mar 03 2023 04:19 PM

Headstart interview with Malaysian Prime Minister
Headstart interview with Malaysian Prime Minister

MANILA—Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim has a lot of things to be grateful for, despite all the trumped-up charges that caused him to spend years behind bars.

Anwar was sentenced to 6 years in jail for corruption in 1999. He was also jailed twice for sodomy and sexual attacks, one of which resulted in his incarceration despite being initially acquitted by the court.

In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN's Karen Davila, Anwar said his political imprisonment made him wiser and healthier through meditation and self-care.

"One year was no meat so your cholesterol level is very low. Sugar is very well controlled. So this also the positive side of the imprisonment. But you spend a lot of time, hours of hours just reading whatever that I can find, the classics, the philosophy, the religious texts," he said in the interview on ANC's Headstart.

"We have to move on. I mean people do make mistake, but they should not repeat it. I will not tolerate this nonsense."

Anwar is not on speaking terms with former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, whom he once regarded as a mentor. The two have had a strained relationship after the latter became part of the opposition during Mahathir's days as state leader.

"We have no communication, as much I think we have to move on. I don't have an issue against him. It was he who ... he put me to prison. and I was tortured when he was the prime minister ... and we have forgiven and moved on," Ibrahim said.

"I just want to move on, and he is 97. I think he needs to move on and make sure he has good health and peace of mind. But my task is horrendous having to repair all this," he added, referring to Malaysia's current state of affairs.

Ibrahim was named prime minister by Malaysia's king last November after an inconclusive election led to political deadlock.

He arrived in the Philippines on Wednesday for a 2-day official visit, becoming the first foreign head of state to visit the country under the Marcos Jr administration.

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