Anwar super confident of Putrajaya takeover

I am very confident we can win. And with me in jail, there will be a few percentage points extra, which means we should be getting a better majority. Even without me in jail, we will win, but probably with a lesser majority.

Yahoo News/Malaysiakini

Having given a string of interviews this week, one would think that PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim would run out of things to say.

But meeting with Malaysiakini for an interview yesterday, Anwar was chatty and upbeat, hardly betraying the slightest apprehension over the sodomy trial verdict due to be delivered on Monday.

Requesting a cup of coffee from an aide, the 64-year-old lamented about being “a wee bit sleepy” at that time, and went on to add that this was not due to his ongoing nationwide ceramah tour.

Instead, it was Anwar’s “health freak” son, Ehsan, back from New York to attend his sister’s wedding, who was the reason for this – by being a “taskmaster” in pestering Anwar to “lift dumbbells” at “odd hours” of the day.

“This morning, after the subuh prayers… we arrived home around 2am. We then wake up for the dawn prayers, but at 6.30am, Ehsan says, ‘Let’s go exercise’. I told him, ‘No, no, I do that at 8 o’clock’,” Anwar said of his little-spoken-about son.

A Master’s student in the Big Apple, Ehsan’s absence throughout his father’s trial has been used as a point of attack by his detractors and this little peek into the duo’s relationship could be well-timed by the consummate politician.

The timing of the verdict delivery in the Sodomy II trial also appears to be “favourable” to Anwar and the opposition coalition, with Anwar joking that a number of coalition leaders and supporters felt that if he was jailed, it would garner more support for Pakatan Rakyat in the coming general election.

Regardless of the outcome of Monday’s verdict, the ever optimistic Anwar insists that Pakatan will make considerable gains in the general election, “enough to take over Putrajaya”.

States that will fall into the coalition’s hands, he said, are Perak and Negri Sembilan, with the BN mounting a formidable challenge to Pakatan’s efforts in the southern states of Johor and Malacca.

All the same, Anwar says, Pakatan will take more seats in both states, as well as in Sarawak and Sabah, where “substantial gains” will be made.

In the following excerpt of Malaysiakini ‘s exclusive interview, the Permatang Pauh MP also concedes that incumbency, as well as Menteri Besar Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat’s age and ailing health, may be a problem for PAS in Kelantan.

The interview has been edited for language and brevity.