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Resolution adopted by the Governing Council
at its 176th session (Manila, 8th April 2005)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, a member of the House of Representatives of Malaysia at the time of the submission of the complaint, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/176/11(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 175th session (October 2004),

Taking account of the information provided to the Committee by the Malaysian delegation at the hearing held on the occasion of the 112th Assembly,

Taking account also of a letter from a group of Malaysian citizens established for the purpose of seeking a Royal Pardon for Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, dated 4 March 2005,

Recalling that, on 2 September 2004, the Federal Court quashed the sentence for sodomy which the Kuala Lumpur High Court had handed down on 8 August 2000 on Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, and ordered his release; recalling further that, owing to the guilty verdict of April 1999 in the abuse of power (corruption) case, which still stands, Mr. Anwar Ibrahim remains barred from standing for election and from any political activity for a period of five years, until 14 April 2008,

Noting that, in response to the resolution it adopted in September 2004, the Malaysian delegation objected to paragraph 3 of the resolution, in which the Council had called in particular on parliament to ensure that Mr. Anwar Ibrahim be granted a pardon; noting that, in his communication of 8 November 2004, the Chairman of the Malaysian Inter-Parliamentary Group stated that "under Malaysian law it is up to the person convicted to seek pardon, and it is not for the Malaysian parliament to appeal to the King", and asked the Secretary General "to stop this nonsense..."; considering that, at the hearing held on the occasion of the 112th Assembly, the Malaysian delegation reaffirmed that parliament had no power to intervene in favour of and even less to submit a pardon petition, and that those convicted had themselves to submit pardon petitions; noting in this respect that Mr. Anwar Ibrahim does not wish to submit a pardon petition since, in his view, this would be tantamount to an admission of guilt,

Bearing in mind that Article 42 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, which deals with the power to pardon, stipulates that the King may grant pardons on the advice of the Prime Minister and notes the role of the Attorney General, but makes no mention of the requirement that convicted persons themselves must appeal to the King for a pardon; noting also that, under Malaysian law, a Royal Pardon restores their political rights,

Considering that a group of various non-governmental organisations and representatives of political parties met in October 2004 and requested that Mr. Anwar Ibrahim be granted a pardon by the King, and that the group submitted to the King a memorandum to this effect,

  1. Thanks the Malaysian delegation for the observations provided;

  2. Notes that the Malaysian Parliament lacks the power to support any pardon petitions and therefore cannot intervene in support of a pardon for Mr. Anwar Ibrahim; notes also, however, that a group of Malaysian citizens has been set up to seek a Royal Pardon for Mr. Anwar Ibrahim;

  3. Recalls that, in the light of the evidence brought to its attention in relation to the judicial proceedings against Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, it has reached the conclusion that Mr. Anwar Ibrahimís prosecution was built on a presumption of guilt and that he did not enjoy a fair trial before an independent and impartial tribunal in either of the cases brought against him; notes that while no redress can be provided for the time he has unjustly spent in prison and the suffering thereby inflicted on him and his family, and although the Federal Court ruling in the sodomy case provides partial redress, he nevertheless remains subjected to a sanction since he remains debarred from political life for a period of five years;

  4. Declares therefore its full support for the granting of a Royal Pardon to Mr. Anwar Ibrahim in order to enable him once more to participate fully in the political life of his country, should he so wish;

  5. Requests the Secretary General to inform the Prime Minister, the parliamentary authorities, the sources and Mr. Anwar Ibrahim accordingly;

  6. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 113th IPU Assembly (October 2005).

* The Malaysian delegation took the floor to express its reservation regarding the resolution, stating that Mr. Anwar Ibrahim had to submit a pardon petition himself and that the Parliament had no power to intervene in any way.


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