to prison: Doctors have final say on Anwar
Mon: The Prisons Department today said that they have
no say on when jailed former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim will be
transferred back to prison.
Prisons Department Public Relations Officer Jamil Razif told malaysiakini
that it is the prerogative of the medical officers treating Anwar, and not the
prison department’s, to make such a decision.
Jamil was commenting on reports that Anwar will soon be transferred back to the
prison from Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, where he is currently admitted.
Anwar, who is serving a 15-year jail term for corruption and sodomy, was
admitted to the hospital on Nov 24 after doctors confirmed that he was suffering
from a "prolapse of the disc with severe compression of the nerve
root" (slipped disc).
“Under the Prison Act, section 37 and section 38, the Prisons Department only
has the right to place the prisoner in the hospital and look after the security
measures. The prisoner will be returned to the prison if he or she is discharged
by the medical officers who are in charge,” said Jamil.
Jamil said Anwar will be sent back to the Sungai Buloh prison if the doctors
treating him think he is fit enough.
No request for surgery overseas
Meanwhile, Anwar’s wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail denied that Anwar had requested
for overseas surgery.
“What we actually requested was a specific type of surgery which is called
endoscopic micro spinal, which is a technique with less risks,” said Wan
However, she refused to comment when asked whether this meant that the surgery
would be done overseas since the technique is only available outside the
“Anwar is currently under medication and undergoing physiotherapy to relieve
his pain but we have yet to rule out surgery completely. Based on the assessment
of doctors, he still needs surgery,” said Wan Azizah.
A panel of specialists which include Tawakal Hospital neurosurgeon Dr Halili
Rahmat, Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital neurosurgeon Dr Ciaran Bolger and Texas’
St May’s Hospital (Texas) neurosurgeon Dr Beck, had stressed that the stated
surgical method was most recommended as it did not require open surgery, thus
minimising risks when compared to conventional surgical methods.