Anwar Ibrahim declares 'new dawn for Malaysia' after release

Anwar Ibrahim declared a 'new dawn for Malaysia' had arrived as he walked free from jail today after receiving a royal pardon, paving the way for his return to national politics.

Anwar, 70, pledged to support top-to-bottom reform of the country after the corruption-plagued ruling coalition that had governed for six decades was dramatically voted out last week.

"Now there is a new dawn for Malaysia. I must thank the people of Malaysia," said Anwar.

"The entire spectrum of Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, have stood by the principles of democracy and freedom. They demand change."

Anwar was freed after being pardoned for a sodomy conviction that put him behind bars for three years, but that was widely viewed as trumped up.

(Agencies)