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

Lester Mason
January 13, 2018

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also home minister, denied the ban was politically motivated and purely under the discretion of the prisons.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who was also present said he does not interfere when it comes to operational issues.

Dr Mahathir said he wanted to thank Anwar - the de-facto leader of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) - for consenting to his nomination as opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan's prime minister designate.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak had visited Anwar in November past year as a gesture of goodwill after the latter went through a shoulder operation.

She said that they knew that there was a chance that Mahathir might not be allowed to visit her father but they tried "to work it out" with the authorities, reported The Star.

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

"They (prisons department personnel) only said that they have received orders from someone high, which means the Minister of Home Affairs that I'm not allowed to see Anwar", Mahathir said.

If the opposition wins, Mahathir will serve as prime minister until his former deputy Anwar Ibrahim is released from prison on Jun 8.

Anwar's daughter and PKR vice president Nurul Izzah has criticised the government for its inconsistency.

"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".

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.

"Now, however, since Dr Mahathir needs Anwar to endorse him as Pakatan's Prime Minister-in-waiting, he is suddenly so excited about visiting Anwar in prison", Salleh added. "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.

"And of course Anwar has a long history of confrontation with me. It would have been a step backwards for PH", he said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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