DIRECTOR-GENERAL of the Prisons Department Zulkifli Omar: a Dr Mahathir Mohamad-Anwar Ibrahim meeting “would have been controversial”.
We, too, are worried about the safety and threats faced.
Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed: Anwar is still a convict and anyone who wants to visit him must get permission from the Prisons Department.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak: Dr Mahathir should be the first to set a good example and not abuse his power or violate the law. Procedures must be followed.
The above were reactions from Putrajaya after Dr Mahathir was barred from visiting Anwar at the Cheras rehabilitation centre yesterday.
But here are some questions:
* How would Dr Mahathir’s meeting with Anwar be deemed “controversial” or “pose a safety risk”? A safety risk to whom?
The two Pakatan Harapan leaders have met several times previously in court. There was no record of “controversy” nor was there any threat. So, what was the D-G talking about?
Dr Mahathir said he was simply visiting Anwar to thank him for endorsing the former prime minister as PH’s next prime minister if the opposition coalition wins the next elections. How controversial is that?
* If Anwar is a still a convict, how then was it possible for Prime Minister Najib Razak, his wife Rosmah Mansor, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Minister Mohamed Nazri Aziz allowed to visit Anwar just after his surgery at Kuala Lumpur Hospital?
They did not come all at once, but on three separate visits over a 10-day span. Wasn’t Anwar still a convict then?
* Did Najib, Zahid and Nazri set a good example by visiting Anwar in hospital? Or did they abuse their power? Salleh, please answer this.
Were procedures followed? Did they get approval from the “officer in charge of the Sungai Buloh prison”?
These are the questions which are probably on the minds of every right-thinking Malaysian, questions our esteemed leaders will have to answer.
For looking at these reasons now, one can’t help thinking that this is a blatant case of double standards or fear of Dr Mahathir at best, or at worst, downright pettiness.