ALOR STAR: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has confirmed that the announcement on the Parliamentary seat to be contested by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will only be made after his return from Hong Kong on Wednesday.
He said Anwar had contacted him yesterday before departing for Hong Kong to give instructions to ‘get ready’ the potential seats that would be contested by the party president-elect in the near future.
“There are originally three (potential) seats, but until yesterday these were narrowed down to two. Yesterday, he contacted me to give me an overview and I have several tasks to be completed. Maybe while in Hong Kong, he will make a decision on one of these seats,” he told reporters after conducting checks on the Sales and Service Tax (SST) implementation here today.
Saifuddin, who is also Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, said the seat to be chosen by Anwar is the safest seat based on a study and also the results of the last general election.
“We have taken into account all (aspects), including the last general election’s outcome, percentage of voters’ turnout, current political issues and issues being harped by the opposition as long as the opposition have not set aside their politicking based on race, religion and racial animosity.
Saifuddin also confirmed that the seat would not be from the northern states of the peninsula as reported by local newspapers, which he described as speculative.
He called on the public to not easily believe in rumours and stressed that any announcements must come from the secretary-general which is the most authoritative and legitimate source of a party.
Commenting on the statement by PKR Women chief Zuraida Kamaruddin that there had been no discussion at the top level on the choice of seat for Anwar, Saifuddin said Anwar himself had announced he would make a comeback to Parliament in October.
"That’s her (Zuraida) way of responding to the media,” he said.
He said it would also not be an issue if Anwar and his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, as well as their daughter Nurul Izzah are in Parliament because they were elected by the people to be their representatives through a democratic process.
On the statement by PKR deputy presidential candidate Rafizi Ramli who claimed that Datuk Seri Azmin Ali had met with Anwar in Turkey to ask him not to contest for president, Saifuddin left it to party members to assess the matter for themselves.
He said the triennial party election this time was of public interest as it was being held after the Pakatan Harapan (PH) succeeded in forming the government for the first time and PKR’s standing as the largest party in PH.
“People are worried to see Rafizi challenging Azmin, but for us PKR members, we see it as a normal process, because in PKR there will be victory and defeat within the PKR family and we consider it as an opportunity to choose from among the best,” he said.
Meanwhile in ALOR SETAR, PKR Women chief Zuraida Kamaruddin said conflicts within the party were commonplace before the election process took place.
She said such situations could happen because there were parties wanting to lobby and show their abilities to enable them to be elected to a post.
“In the spirit of contesting, they will try to lobby... let the members evaluate them on whether what they say have any basis or they are just empty drums (that make the most noise). “Once the election is over, everything will be alright and with a new leadership, we will recorganise to gain the people’s confidence,” she told reporters after visiting the Jalan Tun Razak Fire and Rescue Station here today. - Bernama © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd