A lawyer who recently questioned Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's visit to former prime minister Najib Razak in prison has continued to press for answers from the home ministry, saying the response given by minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail fails to address the main questions at play in the minds of the public.
Saifuddin had said on June 14 that Zahid was allowed to visit and eat with Najib with special permission from the prison authorities.
Rafique Rashid, who first questioned the visit on June 12, however, said the explanation left a number of questions still unanswered.
"My question is, would other people have received the same special treatment given to Najib through Zahid?
"I am not questioning the power of the minister, nor am I questioning the authority of the commissioner.
"Would what was stated be permitted for other people and prisoners as well?"
Rafique was referring to Prisons Regulations 2000 which allows visitations from relatives and friends of inmates subject to restrictions "except by special authority".
Saifuddin had said at a press conference in Parliament that Zahid was allowed to visit and share a meal with Najib as he had been given special permission from the prisons director-general or minister.
But Rafique said no details had been released about the method Zahid used to obtain permission and access to such special treatment.
"Was it in writing or through a telephone call, through the deputy minister or the minister?" he asked.
"So in the end, it remains unanswered except for the minister saying, 'Yes, we have the power'."
Speaking to MalaysiaNow, he added that there was nothing wrong with the statement as the law did allow the use of such power.
However, he reiterated his question of whether the use of this power would be extended to others as well.
"That is the question, because right now, the people are wondering about this special treatment and the special authority," he said.
"Is it because the minister asked that they were able to meet? Was it because the prime minister and deputy prime minister asked?"
Rafique also cited the support given to the coalition government by the 30 MPs from Barisan Nasional.
"If this special permission had not been extended, would Umno have retracted its support?
"This is another question that the people are asking," he said.
He added that the country's laws must be fair and imposed on everyone alike in order for Malaysia to progress.
"So back to the original question: what's so special about Zahid?"