Malaysia's prisons department, and 'not Deputy PM Zahid', blocked Mahathir-Anwar meeting

Sergio Conner
January 13, 2018

"We also have to take the prison's viewpoint, whether or not such visits could result in bad implications towards the prison", he said.

"It is not easy for him to accept (the decision), to achieve consensus to approve me as the Pakatan man who should hold the post as prime minister", he added.

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

The Indian community in the country is much better off under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak than it was under the rule of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for 22 years from 1981 to 2003, said MyPPP president Tan Sri M. Kayveas.

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.

"If there was an application, it could have been considered, but that is still subject to approval".

"In 1998 Anwar was admitted into a hospital because of his "mata lebam" (black eye incident) and Dr Mahathir did not show any concern in wanting to visit him".

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"Under Section 26 of the Prisons Act, he is still under the discretion of the prison officer in charge, which means the approval would depend on the officer", he said.

Mahathir said it is very important for him to meet Anwar in order for the former to express his gratitude. "However, other visitors require special permission".

Malaysia's opposition coalition on Sunday named 92-year old former premier Mahathir Mohamad as its prime ministerial candidate for a general election that must be called by August.

Approximately 35 minutes later, Dr Mahathir and Ms Nurul Izzah informed reporters that the authorities had rejected their request to meet Anwar.

He exited shortly after entering the hospital and told reporters that "high level" authorities in the Home Ministry had banned him from meeting the de facto PKR leader.

If the opposition wins, Mahathir will serve as prime minister until his former deputy Anwar Ibrahim is released from prison on Jun 8. Accompanying the Pakatan Harapan chairman is Anwar's daughter, Nurul izzah (in white tudung).

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