Putrajaya wants Prisons DG to explain Anwar statement from jail

PETALING JAYA: Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said he would seek an explanation from the Prisons Department over a statement issued by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim from behind bars today.

“I am curious. Did this statement really come from Anwar Ibrahim?” he asked in a tweet, referring to a statement by Anwar condemning the redelineation of electoral boundaries and the controversial Anti-Fake News Bill.

“He is prohibited by prison rules to communicate with the world outside without permission from the Prisons director-general,” said Nur Jazlan.

Anwar’s statement released by PKR today accused Barisan Nasional (BN) of bulldozing through the recently passed motion on redelineation of electoral borders in the Dewan Rakyat.

“This is a serious matter which should have taken weeks to debate and discuss. Instead it was hurried through in just two hours!” said Anwar in the statement issued in both Bahasa Malaysia and English.

“This is not a proper and lawful redelineation exercise, but a blatant and unconstitutional act of gerrymandering.”

Nur Jazlan said he would seek an explanation from Prisons Department director-general, Zulkifli Omar.

This is the second time this year that Nur Jazlan has warned Anwar against issuing statements from prison, saying it was an offence that could affect his jail period.

Earlier this month, Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that Anwar’s release date in June could be changed.

“The sentence and release date can still change if a prisoner violates prison rules leading to the disqualification of his remission under the Prisons Regulations,” the deputy prime minister told Dewan Rakyat on March 12.

Anwar, who is set to be released on June 8, is serving a five-year jail term after losing his appeal to set aside a conviction on a charge of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.

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Anwar’s release date could still change, says Zahid