Badrul’s candidacy stirs up hornet’s nest within PR

(The Malay Mail) – PKR’s announcement that Badrul Hisham Shahrin, otherwise known as Chegubard, would be contesting Sungai Acheh has stirred up a hornet’s nest as PAS has also set its sights on it.

The sudden announcement took some by surprise, as it was thought that the parties had agreed for the seat to be returned to PAS, adding an extra seat to the party’s present five.

State PAS commissioner Datuk Mohd Salleh Man sounded miffed over the phone after learning of PKR’s decision at the eleventh hour.

“We still want that seat. It is our seat. We will announce a candidate for that seat too. Wait for the announcement,” he told The Malay Mail.

Asked if PAS was giving up the Bayan Lepas state seat to PKR, Mohd Salleh slammed that speculation saying that they would also be contesting that seat.

Chegubard said he was familiar with the area and that his father-in-law was the party division chief in 1999.

“In fact, I was arrested by police here in 2002. By being in the supreme council, I also have been around the country,” said the PKR supreme council member.

When told the contention was that he was a parachute candidate, the former teacher said these issues could be easily sorted within the party leadership.

“Of course, we do not discount the contribution by PAS because there are a lot of PAS supporters there. We look forward to PAS helping us secure this seat during the election.”

As for contesting in Penang after doing so twice in Negri Sembilan, he said his presence here would also help increase PKR membership and support among youths and the people.

Sungai Acheh, which is a Malay-majority seat on the mainland, was originally a PAS seat until 2008, when it was given to PKR.

However, Dr Azhar Ahmad lost by a mere 250 votes to BN’s Mahmud Zakaria.

Meanwhile, PKR sources said it was initially agreed that the seat would be returned to PAS but the agreement fell through after it realised that PAS did not have any representation on the island.

“If we took the Bayan Lepas seat, PAS would not have any representation on the island. In any case, the Sungai Acheh seat is ours and Chegubard is a good candidate,” the source said.

They also said PKR was the “victim” within the Pakatan Rakyat coalition when it had to sacrifice a few seats, including the Gelang Patah parliament seat in Johor, which was given to DAP.

“We can’t afford to be pushed around like this. Hence, Mansor’s announcement a day before PAS’ line-up is a way to pre-emp the latter’s announcement,” they said.