Saturday, February 9, 2008

Former M’sian deputy premier Anwar to run for office

Former Malaysian deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim looks set to make his political comeback through a proxy in the forthcoming general election (hotly speculated in March), and eventually a by-election in May, according to reports here, and here...

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has dropped tantalising hints to voters that he may contest a by-election in Balik Pulau, on Penang island, in May.

He was addressing a ceramah last Saturday in Kampung Terang in Balik Pulau, the island’s only rural parliamentary constituency, one of three locations he visited in his home state during a weekend of campaigning.

Speaking from a dilapidated wooden house that stands on eroding concrete stilts, he said: “In 1987, while I was in the cabinet, I insisted that this whole area be supplied with electricity and piped water. It was supplied but there has been little further improvement to this place since then. If the PKR candidate wins here in the coming election (widely expected in March), I may contest here in a by-election in May.”

The crowd of some 500 cheered. They obviously knew that this could see a dramatic transformation of the constituency from rural rusticity to something better. After all, the ruling Barisan Nasional had shown its munificent strategy in the Ijok by-election, for example.

Earlier, Anwar had pointed out Yusmadi Yusoff (photo - see dinmerican -ed.) to the crowd, a gesture that could be interpreted as a sign of his eventual selection to contest the Balik Pulau seat. Yusmadi, 32, was born in Balik Pulau and now practises law in Kuala Lumpur. He joined PKR last July, and had accompanied Anwar to the ceramah.

Anwar is barred by law from contesting the elections up to April 15, following his conviction and six-year jail sentence for corrupt practice.

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