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Anwar Ibrahim To Contest Permatang Pauh

In the wake of rumours on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s imminent arrest, his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail today resigned as Permatang Pauh MP to make way for him to contest in a by-election.

Anwar and Wan AzizahDr Wan Azizah, the parliamentary opposition leader who will keep her Parti Keadilan Rakyat president’s post, said she also sent the resignation letter to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia today.

Pandikar, who is in Sabah at the moment and will respond on Monday, is expected to notify the Election Commission immediately. A by-election must be called within 60 days after the notification date.

“I thank my supporters in Permatang Pauh who have stood by me in the most difficult times since September 1998 and have shared the joy of victory we all experienced on March 8,” Dr Wan Azizah told a packed press conference at the PKR headquarters here this afternoon.

The three-term MP said her husband would be a good choice for voters as he had articulated a vision for Malaysia that had brought hope to the people.

A joyous looking Dr Wan Azizah, who was also accompanied by her daughters Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah and Nuruh Nuha, said she was merely keeping her promise to vacate the seat for her husband.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was also asked about her resignation, said: “A loving wife could do nothing better. I am quite sure if my wife was in the same place, she would get down and let me run because I run faster than she does.”

Anwar thanked his wife for holding the family and the party since his ordeal a decade ago.

“I had intentionally wanted to contest in the Kulim Bandar Baharu parliamentary seat. Unfortunately the on-going petition in court is dragging and taking time.

“After some consultation with my legal team we realised that it cannot be resolved within one month,” he said, referring to the Barisan Nasional’s court petition to declare the parliamentary constituency in Kedah null and void after PKR won the seat in the recent general election.

Anwar was Permatang Pauh MP from 1982 until he was sacked by his mentor Dr Mahathir in 1998. He was subsequently jailed but was released in 2004 when the Federal Court upheld his sodomy conviction appeal.

The new twist came about amid strong rumours of Anwar being arrested soon pertaining to a fresh sodomy allegation against him by his former aide 23-year-old Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar today confirmed that the police had wrapped up investigations into the sodomy case. He also said the report had been sent to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

This could lead to Anwar’s arrest any time now, prompting speculation that the PKR de facto leader chose the safe seat of Permatang Pauh to leverage his political position. Dr Wan Azizah won the seat on March 8 with a thumping 13,388-vote majority.

Is this his pre-emptive act in the face of a possible arrest?

“I can’t respond to rumours and these rumours of my impending arrest have been going on since before the last general election. Right now I’m being monitored by the police all the time.

“Anyway why should I be charged? For what? They’ve been on a fishing expedition for quite some time… But with Umno, anything is possible. I don’t want to anticipate anything in this nature,” Anwar said.

He added that the sodomy allegation against him would not affect his plan to re-enter Parliament and to take over the government.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in an interview with AP today, believed Anwar was trying to bribe BN MPs to defect.

“It’s immoral, unjust and unethical for the Prime Minister to cast such an aspersion. We don’t have the resources Umno has. I would advise the Prime Minister to just manage the economy and subject himself to the rule of law,” replied Anwar when asked for his response.

A PKR insider believed that this was the best move Anwar could muster in the light of a repeat attacks by the government against him as it was a decade ago.

“He is at the height of his popularity with the people and many see him as a victim of BN’s conspiracy. And of course Permatang Pauh is a safe seat.”

Barring possible legal implications, Anwar is expected to win his former constituency hands down.

With Pas leadership managing to toe the line by rejecting Umno’s offer to cooperate, the combined election machinery could muster enough support for the former deputy prime minister.

In anticipating an all-out BN onslaught, Dr Wan Azizah was smiling when she said: “We welcome all the development projects for Permatang Pauh.”

Source : Wan Hamidi Hamid The Malaysian Insider

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4 Comments so far

  1. no imageKNizam (Check me out!) on August 1st, 2008

    bn will lose this byelection. hehe 🙂

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  2. no imagekoroq (Check me out!) on August 2nd, 2008

    Kena ada geng yang rakam semua liputan media cetak atau elektronik sepanjang kempen BN nanti. Boleh guna tembak diorang balik utk PRU 13. Jom ganyang BN cukup2.

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  3. […] Anwar Ibrahim To Contest Permatang Pauh […]

  4. no imagerajan (Check me out!) on August 26th, 2008

    hidup DSAI…….bn pasti akan kalah

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