Mahathir turned away from meeting with Anwar at hospital

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad waves as he leaves after he was stopped from visiting jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim who is recuperating from a surgery at Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia January 10, 2018.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was turned away from a meeting with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the Cheras Rehabilita­tion Hospital, where the jailed de facto leader of the Pakatan Harapan is being treated for a medical issue.

Dr Mahathir, who is the coalition’s chairman and presidential candidate, was reportedly turned away by prison officials on Wednesday (Jan 10) following a last-minute order, The Star reported.

Anwar’s daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar, who is a Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai, reportedly said that the highest Prison Department officials had barred them from the visit.

While Anwar is his former deputy and nemesis, 92-year-old Mahathir said he wanted to meet with him to thank him for his support with the coalition’s nomination.

Prisons Department director-general Zulkifli Omar was quoted by Free Malaysia Today (FMT) as saying that Dr Mahathir was turned away as he did not apply for visitation permission beforehand. He added that visitation is granted to non-family members only if there is a “pressing or important matter”.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak had visited Anwar in November last year as a gesture of goodwill after the latter went through a shoulder operation.