Report: Anwar’s seat choices narrowed down to Permatang Pauh, Nibong Tebal?

Ida Lim
Anwar won the Permatang Pauh seat in 1982 and was the MP for the Penang constituency for a combined period of over two decades. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 — PKR president-elect Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s prospective parliamentary seat is expected to be either his old stronghold of Permatang Pauh or Nibong Tebal, a report has said.

Local daily The Star said the Balik Pulau parliamentary seat on the Penang island is no longer considered an option as Anwar is seen as preferring the Seberang Perai area on the state’s mainland for his political base.

Permatang Pauh is currently held by Anwar’s daughter and PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, while the Nibong Tebal MP is Anwar’s friend Datuk Dr Mansor Othman.

Citing a source, The Star said Anwar was “almost 100 per cent” decided on Permatang Pauh.

Also citing the same source, the daily reported that there could be two simultaneous by-elections if Anwar decides on Permatang Pauh, as PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, 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.

Anwar won the Permatang Pauh seat in 1982 and was the MP for the Penang constituency for a combined period of over two decades.

The paper reported Nibong Tebal MP Dr Mansor as confirming that Anwar had told him of his intentions to contest a Penang seat, but said the latter has not directly said he wanted to contest the Nibong Tebal seat.

“I have known him a long time, I think his heart and soul is still in Permatang Pauh,” he was quoted as saying.

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.

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