"It is his (Obama) right, up to him who he wants to see, he does not even want to see me, a former prime minister," Dr Mahathir told reporters.
He was commenting on PKR's regret that Obama, on a three-day official visit to Malaysia from Saturday, would not be meeting Anwar.
Dr Mahathir said the government did not have the power to prevent Obama from meeting anyone, including Anwar.
"If they are dissatisfied, they can go and ask Obama himself, whether we (the government) are barring Anwar from meeting him," he said.
The visit of the US president will be Obama's first official visit to Malaysia after President Lyndon Johnson's visit in 1966.
Other than Malaysia, Obama will also visit Japan and South Korea before ending his visit to Asia, in the Philippines.