Malaysian DPM: Anwar allowed to bring in foreign specialists

Malaysian DPM: Anwar allowed to bring in foreign specialists
Anwar Ibrahim (centre).
PHOTO: The Star

LONDON - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is being treated in jail and has been allowed to bring in foreign medical experts, says the Deputy Prime Minister.

Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also the Home Minister, said there were specialists in the country and there was no need for doctors from abroad to treat Anwar.

But the Prisons Department felt that it was necessary to allow the foreign specialists to "show the international community that we provide this on humanitarian grounds", he said.

He said it should not be seen as giving a special privilege to Anwar and that the decision should be accepted with tolerance and open-mindedness by all.

"I hope his family accepts the decision of the Prisons Department with an open mind because some questions had been raised in the Dewan Rakyat, especially debates on the Budget which touched on the responsibility of the Home Ministry," he said.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said he explained the situa­tion to Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May and Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire when he met with them here and they had asked about Anwar's medical treatment.

The Deputy Prime Minister, who concluded a four-day visit to Britain on Wednesday, said the two had asked the question in relation to a letter sent by British Prime Minister David Cameron to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak asking about the treatment.

There were almost 200 visits to Anwar, including those by medical specialists and doctors, at the jail or hospital, said Dr Ahmad Zahid.

He added that prison authorities could not meet the request of several international non-governmental organisation leaders and foreign political leaders to meet with Anwar, as legislation prevented a person in custody from receiving privileges, even if he was known to many.

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