If Estrada under incarceration could be allowed to go on a medical trip to the United States to undergo surgery by a doctor of his choice, Abdullah should also allow Anwar to travel to Munich for endoscopic surgery
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Friday): DAP calls on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to allow former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to go to Munich, Germany for the endoscopic surgery available only in Germany for his worsening spinal injuries.
If former Philippines President Joseph Estrada under incarceration could be allowed to go on a medical trip to the United States to undergo surgery on his arthritic knees by a doctor of his choice, Christopher Mow of the Stanford University Medical Center, it is a further reason why Anwar should not be denied his right to a medical treatment and by the doctor of his choice, Dr. Thomas Hoogland in Munich.
Abdullah should give serious consideration to Anwar’s right to medical treatment by the doctor of his choice not only because Suhakam had recommended more than two years ago that Anwar should be allowed to exercise his right to choose his preferred medical treatment for his chronic backache which was compounded by his maltreatment while under police custody, but also because of his worsening condition because of indifferent medical attention in prison.
Abdullah must take full cognizance of the revelations by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)) and Computed Tomography (CT) scans that Anwar sustained two new back injuries: friction of a facet joint and a prolapse of another disc.
Three years ago, the then Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was not prepared to allow Anwar to go overseas for specialist spinal treatment claiming that Anwar would not return to Malaysia if he was allowed to go abroad.
Is Abdullah now of the same thinking as Mahathir three years ago that Anwar might not return to Malaysia if he is allowed to go to Munich for specialist spinal treatment, although Anwar had given his personal guarantee that he would not abscond from the country?
With the Estrada precedent - even though the former Philippines President has yet to act on the permission granted to him to make the medical trip to the United States - there can be no reason for the Malaysian authorities to continue to deny Anwar his right to choose his preferred medical treatment overseas for his worsening spinal condition.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman