Two days ago, Anwar's family sent a letter to the authorities for permission for Anwar to visit his eldest brother, Rani Ibrahim, who was dying and the doctors had given him anything from 5 minutes to half a day left to live.
When the request was turned down by the authorities, an appeal was made which was also turned down.
I have been informed by Parti Keadilan Nasional President, Datin Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail that Rani Ibrahim died of lung cancer at his home in Kelana Jaya at about 4.45 p.m. today.
This is one of those occasions when I feel ashamed as a Malaysian, when we can be so utterly lacking in human compassion and be so cruel and heartless to each other, as not to permit Anwar a last visit to his dying elder brother, "even under heavy guard."
Were the authorities so cruel and heartless because they thought that Anwar was feigning his elder brotherís dying hours and that the familyís request to allow Anwar to have the last few moments with his dying brother was a mere ploy to allow Anwar to discuss strategy about the general election?
The Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should publicly apologise for the heartless and outrageous refusal of the authorities to allow Anwar to visit his dying brother - and there must be a total shake-up of the prisons leadership and department to ensure that inhumanity must never be allowed to be entrenched as a principle in the running of a prisons system. In fact, those responsible for refusing to allow Anwar a last visit with his dying brother should be hauled up for gross irresponsibility and punished.
I send my deepest condolence to Anwar Ibrahim and Raniís family on their bereavement.