Anwar won't get special treatment: Malaysian Home Minister

Anwar won't get special treatment: Malaysian Home Minister
Malaysia Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Malaysia Prisons Department treats all prisoners equally

PUTRAJAYA - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be treated just like any other prisoner in Sungai Buloh Prison, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

"I wish to confirm that there is no special or extraordinary treatment (for Anwar).

"The Prisons Department treats all pri­soners equally," he said after addressing the staff at the ministry's monthly assembly here yesterday.

Prisons Department director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Omar and Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Noor Rashid Ibrahim also attended the assembly.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said he had to bring up the matter after being informed there was speculation that Anwar could be given special treatment in view of his status as an MP and Opposition Leader while serving his sentence in the prison.

Zulkifli said Anwar was not sharing a cell with other prisoners, which was a normal thing at the prison.

"He has been placed in his own cell. As for food and drinks and scheduled visits by ­family members, it is the same for Anwar as with other prisoners," he said.

He added that the schedules for family ­visits were determined by the colour of prison clothes worn.

"He is now wearing red, for prisoners ­serving a jail sentence of six months and above, and can only be visited once a month.

"The frequency will change from once to twice or thrice a month and once a week based on the duration of imprisonment after being in jail for at least 12 months," he said.

Zulkifli also disclosed that Anwar was allowed to meet his family members at Sungai Buloh Prison on Tuesday.

The Federal Court on Tuesday upheld the Court of Appeal's five-year prison sentence on Anwar for sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 30, at the Desa Damansara condominium in Bukit Damansara on June 26, 2008.

Deputy IGP Noor Rashid, meanwhile, said the police had received information that a series of gatherings would be held by Anwar's supporters and sympathisers this weekend at a number of locations in the federal capital.

"Among the places are in front of the Sogo shopping complex and at Dataran Merdeka," he said.

"The police would like to remind the organi­sers to abide by the law. If they break the law, the police will take action."

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