Kajang by-election: Confusion in Pakatan over Anwar move

LGE Tantawi

(The Star) – A number of Pakatan leaders claimed to be in the dark over Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s move to contest in the Kajang by-election, even as other leaders voiced their support for his decision.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said that since he wasn’t informed about what was going on, it was better for the media to direct its questions at Anwar.

“What I feel about the whole issue is not important as at the moment I just want to ensure the public safety in Penang following the arson attack,” he said referring to the Molotov cocktail attacks in a church at a press conference.

PAS central working committee member Nasruddin Hassan Tantawi also seemed surprised that there is a by-election planned although there was no death or illness. He claimed the decision was made in bad taste as there was no consultation between the parties in Pakatan Rakyat.

“It seems that anyone can step down from their post so that a by-election can be called to give way to another person. It’s as if they are just playing around,” said the Temerloh MP in a Facebook post.

“A by-election is not to test power or to test the market and not for a test drive,” he said.

He said the election was an arena where the people chose their leaders and that by resigning, the leaders were not respecting the mandate given to them,” he said adding that it was haram (forbidden) to do so.

“All the GST and Turun roadshows seem to be meaningless to them. At a time when the people are suffering from a higher cost of living, they have averted the attention to heap on the people’s suffering.

However at the press conference announcing his candidacy Tuesday, Anwar was flanked by Pakatan leaders including DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang and PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub.

Both of them said they would give their support to PKR for the by-election.

The N25 Kajang seat fell vacant following the sudden resignation of Kajang assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh on Monday.

It will be the second time a by-election is held to accommodate the Permatang Pauh MP.

His wife, Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, stepped down as Permatang Pauh MP on July 31, 2008 and a by-election was held on Aug 26, with Anwar winning handsomely.