While in Malaysia to discuss ongoing trade negotiations, members of a congressional delegation led by Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) held a meeting with Nurul Izzah, the daughter of Anwar Ibrahim, who was controversially imprisoned last week.
Anwar, the Malaysian opposition leader, was jailed after a government appeal overturned an original ruling that found him not guilty. The conviction has resulted in international condemnation and doubts about the independence of the Malaysian courts.
Speaking with Nurul Izzah, a member of parliament and vice president of the opposition People’s Justice Party, Chairman Ryan conveyed his sympathies and expressed serious concerns about Anwar’s jailing, noting that episodes like this should not arise in developed democracies. The situation raises questions about the Malaysian government’s commitment to the rule of law and basic human rights. Ryan also inquired about the current status of Anwar and his health in prison, a primary worry of Nurul Izzah’s. The delegation told her that Congress will continue to express its concern about Anwar’s jailing.