Perak BN braces for by-election as Anwar seeks path to Parliament

Sylvia Looi
Datuk Saarani Mohamad said BN will mobilise its election machinery as soon as a by-election is confirmed for either the Perak parliamentary seat of Bagan Serai or Bukit Gantang. — Picture by Marcus Pheong

IPOH, Aug 16 ― Perak Barisan Nasional (BN) is girding itself should any of two federal lawmakers in the state quit to make way for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is looking to return to Parliament.

Its chairman Datuk Saarani Mohamad said BN will mobilise its election machinery as soon as a by-election is confirmed for either the Perak parliamentary seat of Bagan Serai or Bukit Gantang.

“We want to ensure we retain the seat,” the Kota Tampan assemblyman told Malay Mail today.

Bagan Serai MP Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali and Bukit Gantang MP Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal are independents but were fielded on the BN’s ticket in the May 9 general election.

Citing an anonymous source, news portal Free Malaysia Today reported yesterday that one of Perak’s independent MPs was willing to relinquish his seat to force a by-election for Anwar to contest, after a meeting with the de facto Pakatan Harapan leader.

Dr Noor Azmi has denied saying he will resign for Anwar while Syed Abu Hussin was reported saying he will hold a news conference after returning from Mecca.

Dr Noor Azmi left Umno on June 24 after retaining his Bagan Serai seat by a slim 172-vote majority.

He was followed three days later by former party colleague Syed Abu Hussin who also succeeded in keeping Bukit Gantang by a majority of 4,089 votes.

Anwar recently secured the presidency in PKR after his wife and incumbent Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said she will not be defending the seat in the party’s coming internal election. No other challenger has come forward and nominations have since closed.

Anwar was Permatang Pauh MP until he was sentenced to a jail term for sodomy in 2014 for which he has served and since been royally pardoned.

PKR’s Selayang MP William Leong said several lawmakers in the party offered to resign to enable Anwar to contest in a by-election, and if he wins, return to the Dewan Rakyat.

Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul was among those who offered to quit his seat.

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