Penang PKR says it has no knowledge of Anwar contesting in the state

Audrey Dermawan

GEORGE TOWN: Penang PKR has claimed ignorance about Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim contesting a parliamentary seat here for his political comeback.

Several leaders whom the NSTP approached said there has been no discussion on the matter.

State PKR chairman Datuk Mansor Othman even described as “nonsense” a news report which claimed that he would be vacating his Nibong Tebal parliamentary seat for Anwar to contest in.

“Why should I resign? There is no reason for me to do so.

“I don’t know (anything about Anwar contesting here)...they are mere talks. Nothing has been raised yet,” he said when contacted.

PKR Youth deputy chief Dr Afif Bahardin, who is vying the movement’s chief post in the party elections, said nothing had been confirmed yet.

“I am sure that once it is decided (where Anwar will be contesting), it will be presented to the party, and the party will make a decision. For now, we do not know anything for sure.

“Just last week, PKR Permatang Pauh division had its meeting but this was not raised,” he said.

The Seberang Jaya assemblyman and state executive councillor, however, said in the event Anwar chose to contest anywhere their election machinery was ready to be mobilised.

“What Datuk Seri (Anwar) had said during his last trip here was for Permatang Pauh as well as state election machinery to help in the by-election.

“He, however, did not specify any seat,” he said.

It was reported that Anwar would return to Parliament as early as October. He, however, remained coy on which seat he would be contesting, and here said he had shortlisted two to three seats.

Talk is rife that the seat may be in Penang where he had launched his political career back in 1982. Among the seats speculated are Permatang Pauh, which is currently held by Anwar’s daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar of Nibong Tebal.

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today confirmed that a parliamentary seat would be vacated for Anwar to contest in.

Both Nurul and PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution did not respond to the NSTP’s calls and messages. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd