KUALA LUMPUR – August 9, 2018: The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) is against any parliamentarian resigning to make way for PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest in a by-election, similarf to the Kajang Move in 2014.
While acknowledging that the move is lawful, Bersih chairman Shahrul Mohd. Asri nonetheless said that triggering a by-election in this way is unnecessarily costly and should be deemed as being disrespectful of voters.
“It’s like they’re playing a game. It’s a waste of time and resources. This has always been our position since the 2014 Kajang Move,” said Shahrul.
Talk of another Kajang Move surfaced in the last few days after some PKR members of parliament stated their willingness to vacate their seats to allow Anwar to contest.
Orchestrated by PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli, the Kajang Move was a by-election ploy to pave the way for Anwar to be the new Selangor mentri besar – a post that was then held by Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.
Anwar though could not contest after he lost his court appeal against a sodomy conviction, an offence for which he was granted a full pardon by the Agong after GE14.
Many voters were said to have not been fully supportive of the plan to the extent that eventual candidate Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, won by a reduced majority.
“Essentially, they are trying to get the people to jump into their bandwagon to chase the party’s ambitions. It’s legal but morally questionable. If they still want to do it, then they have to face the people’s sentiments,” said Shahrul.
At a press conference today, Anwar said PKR is currently studying the matter, adding that it would not make sense for him to be an MP through natural means.
“To be an MP the natural way would require me to wait for someone to die… and hoping for someone to die is not a good thing,” he quipped.
“As for now, I am sticking with the consensus that a change in power has to take place after I enter parliament,” Anwar said in reference to Pakatan Harapan’s plan that he will succeed Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister in two years time.