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Consent From Speaker & Prison Dept. Needed For Anwar To Attend Parliament

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Jailed opposition leader and Permatang Pauh member of parliament Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim must have permission from both the Dewan Rakyat speaker and the Prison Department director-general in order to attend parliament sittings, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tunku Jaafar said today.

Wan Junaidi said it is up to Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia to declare Anwar fit to carry out his duties as a lawmaker before Anwar can apply for temporary release to attend Dewan Rakyat sittings.

“Whether Anwar will be allowed to attend parliament depends on how the house rules are interpreted by the Speaker.”

“Once the green light is given, Anwar will then have to apply for permission to attend the sittings from the Prison Department director-general (Datuk Wira Zulkifli Omar),” Wan Junaidi told the New Straits Times when contacted.

Wan Junaidi said Anwar’s situation is unprecedented and requires greater study of the country’s prison regulations and other procedural matters.

The Home Ministry, he said, would be consulted in the event that a decision could not be reached by the department.

Pandikar Amin, in a statement Tuesday, had said Anwar’s parliamentary seat would not be declared vacant until the Pardons Board had made a decision on his petition for a royal pardon.

Anwar’s family had filed the petition on his behalf at the Istana Negara yesterday just before the 14-day deadline expired.-NST

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