Malaysia GE13: Anwar to contest from his old Penang seat after all

Carolyn Hong, Straits Times

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will defend his long-time Permatang Pauh seat in Penang, putting an end to his earlier hints that he may move to a seat in Perak.

He announced at a rally in Penang Friday that he wanted to be with his loyal voters and supporters in this seat.

“My wife had earlier disagreed with me when I told her that I was considering contesting the Tambun parliamentary seat in Perak,’ he was quoted as saying by the Star in Penang.

“She said the people of Permatang Pauh were loyalists and diehard supporters who had stood by her and PKR through thick and thin all these years.”

Datuk Seri Anwar had earlier hinted that he might leave the seat that he has held since 1982 to move to contest in Perak which the opposition Pakatan Rakyat is keen to wrest back from the ruling Barisan Nasional.

The PR had won Perak in the 2008 general election but lost it to the BN a year later when three of its assemblymen defected. A PR heavyweight – the Democratic Action Party veteran MP Lim Kit Siang – will be leaving his Perak seat to lead the PR charge in Johor.

Mr Anwar was speculated to be filling the vacuum in Perak.

Permatang Pauh is a safe seat for Datuk Seri Anwar who had held it from 1982 until 1999 when he was sacked from government on charges of corrupt practices and sodomy. He has maintained that these charges are trumped up.

The seat was held by his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail until he regained it in 2008 upon his return to active politics after he was released from prison.

He won the seat in a by-election in 2008 by a landslide, taking two-thirds of the 47,000 votes.