PARLIAMENT PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim enjoyed special perks which are not extended to other inmates, said Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
This includes hot showers, a special bed fitting “high-end” hospital specification and a special diet.
“(He was) supplied with food recommended by experts like cereal, low fat milk, dates, honey and drinks,” Zahid said while winding up debates on the royal address.
Zahid said that as at March 13, Anwar has had 360 visits and received 152 health checks and treatment in the Sungai Buloh prison.
The former opposition leader was treated nine times at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital and has met his family 19 times in jail and 13 times in hospital.
He has also been out 24 times to attend trials, and used the library 52 times, he told the Dewan Rakyat.
Anwar is serving a five-year jail sentence after he was convicted on Feb 10, 2015, of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
He was responding to Tian Chua (PKR-Batu) who said Anwar has been receiving sub-par medical treatment and was only allowed an hour a week to consult with his lawyers.
Chua, who is PKR vice-president, claimed Anwar’s doctors are not allowed physical contact with their patient, and can only interact with Anwar through intercom and behind plexiglass.
Treated Anwar humanely
Zahid said the prison authorities have treated Anwar humanely, including allowing him to attend his father’s funeral on April 5, 2015.
“Based on prevailing regulations, we feel the Prisons Department director and prisons personnel have shown high compassion in how they treat Anwar,” he said.
Anwar’s family insisted that he has not been receiving adequate medical treatment, especially for a shoulder injury he sustained before he was imprisoned.
The Health Ministry said a panel of doctors have examined the politician and recommended due care, which is being implemented.