Politics

Anwar Ibrahim: From (party) president-elect to next PM via political engineering

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

PETALING JAYA – September 12, 2018: Malaysians appear to be experiencing election fatigue since national elections last May 10 but will be facing yet another by-election — a fourth since May 9 — to pave the way for the return of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to Parliament.

This time the by-election will be in Port Dickson, where PKR MP Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah today tendered his resignation. Anwar’s candidacy was announced at his party headquarters here.

“Late last night I was informed by Rafizi (vice-president Rafizi Ramli) that after having discussed with the leadership, Anwar has decided to accept my offer,” said Balagopal.

In the last 14th general elections, Danyal won Port Dickson with 36,225 votes while V.S. Mogan of MIC/Barisan Nasional received 18,515 and Mahfuz Roslan of PAS with 6,594.

According to PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, the self-induced by-election should not be seen as a betrayal of the trust of Port Dickson voters in Pakatan Harapan.

Anwar’s desire to return to Parliament was first aired by him at a campaign rally for the Sungai Kandis by-election last month but intense speculation over the seat he would be contesting only started last week.

“They (voters) voted us because they supported PH’s mission and the consensus to make Anwar the prime minister in-waiting. I don’t think this is a betrayal. A betrayal is when one steals from the people,” remarked Saifuddin.

While the opposition bloc has yet to name its candidate, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said Barisan Nasional should field a local candidate to face Anwar.

The Port Dickson constituency was created in 1958 but renamed Teluk Kemang during a delineation in 1974. The name was switched back Port Dickson last year.

For many years the constituency was a BN stronghold until it was defeated three times in a row since 2008.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at [email protected]