SHAH ALAM: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he has no issues with Pakatan Harapan seeking a royal pardon to spring his former political nemesis Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim out of prison in the event the Opposition manages to take over Putrajaya.

Dr Mahathir said this at a forum on Friday night in response to a query from Penang Institute fellow Wong Chin Huat if he would support any Pakatan move to free Anwar.

“If the people want Anwar, who am I to reject their wishes?” said Dr Mahathir, adding that he did not bear grudges.

Anwar was deputy prime minister when he was sacked by Dr Mahathir in 1998 and was later charged for sodomy and jailed.

He is currently in prison serving a five-year jail term after being convicted for a second sodomy charge.

When asked if he would take charge of the initiative to seek Anwar’s pardon as they had now buried the hatchet, the 92-year-old Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman said the onus to do so was on the current prime minister.

“I am not the prime minister,” quipped Dr Mahathir.

In an immediate response, Selangor Umno lambasted Dr Mahathir for his what they deemed “desperate measures” to topple the Government.

“He is so desperate for the Opposition to seize power from the Federal Government that he has even gone to the extent of supporting the release of Anwar Ibrahim from prison,” said its secretary Datuk Johan Abdul Aziz.

Johan said the Opposition and Dr Mahathir must respect the law of the land and wait for Anwar to complete his jail term instead of wanting to bust him out of jail.