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KUALA LUMPUR , Malaysia – Malaysia's new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says he will form a lean cabinet with 10 core ministries and start the process of obtaining an immediate pardon for jailed opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim.
Mahathir was sworn in as Malaysia's seventh premier late Thursday, a day after leading his four-party opposition alliance to a stunning election victory that ousted scandal-plagued Prime Minister Najib Razak and ended his coalition's 60-year unbroken grip on power. It was a remarkable comeback for Mahathir, who was premier for 22 years until his retirement in 2003 and is now the world's oldest leader at 92.
Mahathir said Thursday the king has indicated he was willing to give an immediate pardon that would free Anwar, who was jailed on sodomy charges he said were politically motivated.