Zahid has final say on Anwar in Parliament


The decision to let Anwar attend Parliament lies solely at the Home Minister’s discretion.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Home Minister Zahid Hamidi has the final say on whether jailed Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim can attend Parliament, not the Speaker, Attorney-General or Pardon’s Board, according to Anwar’s lawyers.

In response to whether Anwar could attend Parliament, Zahid had said earlier that it was in the hands of the Attorney-General’s Office, not the Home Ministry’s.

Anwar’s lawyers however have rubbished the statement, saying that the onus was on Zahid as the final and legal authority to allow or disallow Anwar to attend Parliament.

“We are astonished at the lengths to which the Home Minister is prepared to go in order to evade responsibility,” they said.

They described Zahid’s statement as “shocking, incomprehensible and a direct contradiction of the Prisons Act 1995.”

Only the Prisons Director-General has the legal authority to release Anwar to attend Parliament.

Section 13(1) of the Prisons Act explicitly states that the Prisons Director-General “shall be responsible” to the Home Minister for the due observance of the provisions of the Prisons Act 1995, leaving the decision squarely at the discretion of Zahid.

They also criticised Zahid’s suggestion that the Pardons Board must make a decision first before bringing Anwar to Parliament as being “completely preposterous”.