: The Prisons Department has turned down an application by jailed Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be allowed to attend the first meeting of the third session of the 13th Parliament which opened today.
Prisons commissioner-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Omar, in a statement here today, said the decision was made after consideration and based on Section 31(1)(a) of the Prisons Act 1995.
He said a letter to that effect was sent to Anwar on March 4.
Zulkifli said the Prisons Department had received requests from Anwar's daughter, Lembah Pantai parliamentarian Nurul Izzah Anwar, and also from a legal firm, Messrs Daim & Gamany, for Anwar, who is Permatang Pauh MP, to be allowed to attend the Dewan Rakyat sitting scheduled for March 9 to April 9.
Section 31(1)(a) of the Prisons Act 1995 provides for the commissioner-general to order, in writing, a prisoner to be taken to any place in Malaysia, after being satisfied that there are reasonable grounds requiring the presence of the prisoner at that place.
Anwar was sent to the Sungai Buloh Prison after the Federal Court, on Feb 10, maintained the conviction and five-year jail sentence imposed on him by the Court of Appeal for sodomising his aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.