Abdullah Badawi mistaken when he claimed that Anwar Ibrahim was the first convict to be allowed out of prison on compassionate grounds

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Monday): Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday that former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was the first ever convict in the country to be allowed out of prison on compassionate grounds when Anwar was allowed to attend the funeral of his brother, Mohamed Rani.

Abdullah was mistaken, as it is public knowledge that convicts had even been allowed out of prison on non-compassionate grounds - like the infamous case of Datuk Abdullah Ang, who could leave the prison walls during his jail term to go to his office to conduct his business.

I know of a detainee under the Internal Security Act in the early eighties who was allowed to leave the detention camp to go to nightclubs, apart from being allowed to play shares when in detention.

A prison regime that is rooted in inhumanity, as in refusing Anwar Ibrahim permission to pay a last visit to Rani, 62,  when  doctors had given him anything from 5 minutes to half a day left to live as a result of lung cancer, is not a prison system which Malaysians can be proud of.

Malaysia’s prison system falls far short of the minimum international standards for the treatment of prisoners and DAP reiterates its call for a complete overhaul of the prison system so that it would cease to be a black mark on Malaysian governance.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP Secretary-General, Parliamentary Candidate for Bukit Bendera and State Assembly candidate for Kebun Bunga