PKR aims to score hat-trick with Pensiangan seat

(Daily Express) – Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said his opposition coalition is confident of victory if a by-election is held in Pensiangan for the Parliament seat.

Last week, PAS, which is part of the Pakatan coalition, wrestled the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary constituency from Barisan Nasional (BN) in the by-election by a comfortable margin.

It was the second by-election the opposition coalition won after the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat. Anwar, who is Permatang Pauh MP and parliamentary opposition chief, nevertheless, prefers that the party not be overly enthusiastic about it and that it rather wait for the outcome of the Pensiangan MP Tan Sri Joseph Kurup's appeal to the Federal Court.

"We are very optimistic, but let's first wait for the Federal Court to come up with a decision. It is better for us to wait for the decision from the Federal Court on the appeal, before going out full swing," said Anwar, who is also PKR Sabah Liaison Chairman.

"But I am proud to see our party's machinery here, under the guidance of leaders Dr Jeffrey, Ansari and even at the division-level have already started with the early preparation É but I advised them not to be overly enthusiastic because we still do not know what the Federal Court's decision is," he told a press conference held at the Airport View Hotel, Kepayan, Friday.

Vice President cum State Liaison Deputy Chairman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, Deputy Chairman Ansari Abdullah, Deputy Chairwoman Christina Liew and other senior and grassroots party leaders were present.

"I am confident we will be able to give a good fight. Because both the rakyat from the Murut and Kadazandusun communities in Pensiangan are in a depressing situation as the constituency has been marginalised," claimed Anwar.

"Definitely within this one month, the Ministers and government would be pouring allocations…but like the people in Kuala Terengganu the people already know and are aware that the allocations would only flood in whenever there is an election coming," he said.

On whether PKR and Pakatan Rakyat have discussed the potential candidate to stand there, Anwar said there has been nothing yet on this front.

"But we do had some form of informal discussion and cooperation on various aspects, not only on Pensiangan, but the party's machinery in Sabah. We can discuss several potential candidates for consideration if there is a by-election," he said.

He said in the event discussion would be based on the agreed principle, just like what was practised in the last two by-elections.

"During the Permatang Pauh by-election we had a PKR candidate and recently in the Kuala Terengganu it was PAS candidate although many in Keadilan thought that because of the very mixed community there, Keadilan should be given a chance.

"But the principle stood that since it was PAS which stood in Kuala Terengganu during the Mac 8, 2008 General Elections, we should proceed with thatÉI thought that was the right decision," he said.

Anwar alleged being told by voters in Kuala Terengganu that they were given RM300 to render support to the Barisan Nasional.

"A small part of Permatang Pauh is rural while a major part of Kuala Terengganu is very rural, I mean it is like Kudat town although Kuala Terengganu town is slightly bigger.

"But the farmers and fishermen in Kuala Terengganu are very poor and marginalised. They told me that they had taken the money and hoped I wouldn't mind," he said, adding that they thereafter voted for PAS.

"That is also the message we want to deliver to the people in Pensiangan.

You may take money as much as you want and you can – after that they will not give you anymore – but make the right decision and support Parti Keadilan," he said.

On the SAPP-Pakatan connection, Anwar said he saw the participation of SAPP as a positive contribution to the Pakatan regiment in terms of their willingness to collaborate with in some of programmes and activities.

"We have not discussed with the SAPP specifically on seat allocation. I have asked Datuk Dr Jeffrey to begin informally interacting with the other party leaders," he said.

In another development, Anwar said it is still too early to see the effectiveness of the recently formed Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.