In a statement yesterday, Suhakam said that there were no prohibitions in law for Anwar to be sent abroad for medical treatment.
This was after three Suhakam commissioners had met with Anwar, his personal doctors and doctors from Kuala Lumpur Hospital (KLH) on May 22 to gather relevant information regarding his health condition.
The Suhakam statement said:
“Suhakam notes that under ordinary circumstances, a person charged with the offences Anwar had been charged with could have been granted bail pending trial and appeal.
“Under such circumstances, therefore, a person under bail could have travelled abroad for the medical treatment of his choice..
“Since Anwar has been denied bail and is now in prison, Suhakam considered the relevant provisions of the 1995 Prison Act which provides that where there are inadequate facilities for the treatment of a prisoner, an order may be made for the removal of the prisoner to a government hospital.”
The Act also allowed the prison authorities to release a prisoner on licence and that the prisoner may be removed out of the country by sea or air.
“In view of the above, Suhakam observes that there are no prohibitions in law for Anwar to be sent abroad for medical treatment.”
The Government should respect and comply with the recommendation of Suhakam as it is an accepted medical practice to respect a patient’s choice of treatment even if it is against the advice of his attending physicians, especially as Anwar has repeatedly assured the government that he is willing to bear all risks and expenses if he is allowed to pursue his choice of treatment overseas and abide by any conditions imposed by the government including those restricting him from taking any actions of a political nature.
In the circumstances, in view of the urgency of the matter, the Cabinet should convene an emergency meeting to approve Anwar’s choice of specialist spinal surgery in Munich and to initiate discussions with the German government for arrangements for Anwar’s trip.
To further assure the government, the Barisan Alternative Presidents/Chairmen can also give a collective guarantee to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on Anwar’s return to prison in Malaysia after his spinal surgery in Munich.