Prisons DG: We made a decision to disallow Dr M's Anwar visit

Filepic Bernama

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.

"Every application for the objective of a meeting will be considered based on the premise of urgency and importance". Mahathir and Anwar's wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will be the Pakatan Harapan coalition's candidates for the premier and deputy prime ministerial posts respectively, secretary general Saifuddin Abdullah said at the alliance's convention.

Dr Mahathir was on Sunday announced as the opposition prime minister candidate and this was to have been his first visit to the PKR de facto leader.

According to Anwar's daughter, Mahathir had been planning to visit her father ever since he was hospitalised last November, but the meeting was delayed due to Mahathir's health and work schedule.

Dr Mahathir had gone to the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital to visit Anwar yesterday, accompanied by the latter's daughter and PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Youth chief Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman. "Even wives can not visit husbands in prison if the proper procedure is not followed", he said in his blog sskeruak.blogspot.my tonight.

He clarified that Anwar's previous visitors, including Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, had applied via formal channels.

Zulkifli explained that while family members are allowed to visit convicts in the prison hospital, anyone else must be screened beforehand and 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. However, other visitors require special permission".

While Anwar is his former deputy and nemesis, 92-year-old Mahathir said he wanted to meet with him to thank him for his support with the coalition's nomination.

"I only needed a minute to meet (Anwar), not more. It would have been a step backwards for PH", he said.

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