No ministerial order to stop Mahathir seeing Anwar - Zahid

Elias Hubbard
January 13, 2018

"I will let the director general explain, as I do not normally step in when concerning operations", Mr Zahid who is also home minister said.

Anwar, who is serving out jail time at the Sungai Buloh Prison for a sodomy conviction, is now at the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital following surgery two weeks ago.

Mahathir, who earned a reputation during his 22-year tenure as prime minister of being a no-nonsense authoritarian with little time for dissenters promoting liberal values, stands to become the world's oldest leader if the opposition wins. "On operational matters, I give my full trust towards the departments under the Home Ministry".

Zulkifli said that contrary to Dr Mahathir's allegation of interference, the decision to disallow the visit was made on his authority as the Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman had not made a formal application prior to dropping by the facility.

He said Dr Mahathir did not apply formally to visit Anwar and the officer in charge of Sungai Buloh prison was anxious that there would be negative implications from the visit.

Speaking to the media outside the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital clinic, Mahathir said the hospital security had received orders from "higher up" to not allow the visit.

No ministerial order to stop Mahathir seeing Anwar - Zahid
No ministerial order to stop Mahathir seeing Anwar - Zahid

Zulkifli said a special meeting between the prisoner and certain parties is subject to Prison Act 1995, Prison Regulations 2000 and a permanent order of the Commissioner-General of Prisons.

They then met Prisons Department officials to seek permission to visit Anwar.

He said the decision on the matter was under the jurisdction of the officer in charge of the prison, and as such, there was worries from the prison itself if the two leaders were allowed to meet, "it might have been controversial". "It's not easy for him to accept and achieve consensus by approving the designation of me as the PH representative -should we win- to hold the post of Prime Minister", Mahathir said.

Mahathir said it is very important for him to meet Anwar in order for the former to express his gratitude.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was turned away from a meeting with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital, where the jailed de facto leader of the Pakatan Harapan is being treated for a medical issue.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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