KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 — The Permatang Pauh or Nibong Tebal parliamentary seats are not the seats being considered by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest in, PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has said.
Saifuddin refuted a report by The Star quoting sources saying that the PKR president-elect was looking to contest in either two of the seats, which would mean that incumbent Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar would have to vacate her seat.
The same report had also said that that there could be two simultaneous by-elections if Anwar decides on Permatang Pauh, as Saifuddin who is both Kulim Bandar Baharu MP and Pantai Jerejak state assemblyman, may give up his state seat in Penang for the then-seatless Nurul Izzah to contest.
Saifuddin denied this, saying that not one bit of information in the report was accurate.
“It is not true, the by-election does not involve Nibong Tebal, or Permatang Pauh. All this has nothing to do with Anwar’s plan.
“The writer’s claim that both father and daughter will be involved in by-elections, this is all in her mind and imagination,” Saifuddin told Malay Mail, referring to the author of the article, The Star’s columnist Joceline Tan.
Saifuddin revealed that he met Anwar two days ago, and that the PKR president-elect had given him the “green light” to personally make the announcement of which parliamentary seat Anwar will be contesting in.
“I was asked by Anwar to give the notice, make the announcement, it will be made before September 13 (Thursday next week).”
The PKR leader confirmed that a single seat has been identified.
Last night, PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli reportedly revealed that a seat held by a PKR MP will be declared vacant next week to enable Anwar to contest in a by-election and return to Parliament.
On September 1, Anwar confirmed that a few MPs had previously offered to vacate their seats for him, but are now holding back.
The Pakatan Harapan leadership council collectively agreed that Anwar will be succeeding Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the prime minister, but said he must first win an election.
Anwar has repeatedly said that he does not intend to put pressure on Dr Mahathir to name him as part of his government even if he were to become an MP.