KUALA LUMPUR: PKR President Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her second daughter, Nurul Nuha Anwar, were earlier reportedly at Istana Negara to submit a Petition for a Pardon from the Agong for jailed Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.
Earlier, Anwar’s lawyers had expressed some doubts that the Opposition Leader would apply for a Pardon and stressed that he continues to maintain that he was innocent of the charges.
A Petition for Pardon would delay Anwar’s disqualification as Permatang Pauh MP.
Anwar’s eldest daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar was reported in Malay Mail Online as confirming that the family was seeking the Pardon from the Agong, on Anwar’s behalf, and there’s a precedent for this.
She cited the case of DAP’s father-and-son team Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng who had submitted a similar Petition when they were in prison.
She was apparently speaking from Parliament where she was submitting the letter on the Petition on the Pardon to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia.
In the absence of a Petition, Anwar can be barred from being a federal lawmaker 14 days from February 10, based on Article 48 Clause 4 (a) of the Federal Constitution.
Nurul Nuha confirmed, in a statement, that the Petition for the Pardon had been submitted to Istana Negara for the Agong’s attention.
“An appeal for a royal pardon has been submitted. The courts may have pronounced a guilty verdict but our father, and we as a family continue to state that he is innocent,” she said in the statement. “By virtue of Article 42 of the Federal Constitution, we hope that the Royal institution would in the name of justice based on the entire facts grant an appeal.”
The family, she stressed, she said would continue to pursue and exhaust all available legal means to free Anwar.
PKR veteran Sivarasa Rasiah, one of Anwar’s lawyers, said on Monday the legal team will apply for a review of the decision under Rule 137 of the Federal Court Rules as a judicial review was not possible for a criminal conviction.
The Federal Court, on February 10, saw no reason to interfere with an earlier Court of Appeal decision to convict Anwar on a sodomy charge and sentence him to five years in jail.
The Bar Council, in an initial reaction, said that Anwar had been convicted of a victimless offence and implied that there was no law on this.
On the role and function of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the State Rulers, the Federal Constitution is largely fashioned on the British model but with local adaptations, according to Law Professor Shad Faruqi in an advisory written in 2006 for Australian journalists who raised the case of Anwar.
“The Agong has the power to grant pardons, reprieves and respites. On any constitutional question, he can refer a matter to the Federal Court for the court’s advisory opinion.”
The British Queen’s judicial powers are now very minimal and there is only really one which is used on a regular basis, with others having been delegated to judges and parliament through time:
Royal Pardon – The Royal Pardon was originally used to retract death sentences against those wrongly convicted. It is now used to correct errors in sentencing and was recently used to give a posthumous pardon to WW2 codebreaker, Alan Turing.