Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) President Anwar Ibrahim will contest for a seat in the country’s parliament after a member of parliament for Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan resigned to make way for him.
Danyal Balagopal Abdullah, the current member of parliament for Port Dickson announced at a news conference that he would vacate his seat, paving the way for Anwar’s return to Malaysia’s parliament.
“I am confident that Yang Berbahagia Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim will win the seat – hands down – and proceed to become the next member of parliament for Port Dickson. And eventually become our nation’s eighth prime minister,” Danyal said as quoted in Channel News Asia (Sep 12).
The semi-urban seat of Port Dickson has a population comprising 53 per cent Malays, 26 per cent Chinese and 21 per cent Indians, according to the Department of Statistics.
Anwar, who just returned to public life after years of incarceration, has been named the ruling coalition’s prime minister-in-waiting but needs a seat in parliament to legitimise his position should Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad step down for him in this term, as promised.
Anwar changed the face of Malaysian politics in the late 1990s, becoming the face of the Reformasi or reform movement after he was sent to jail during Mahathir’s last tenure as premier over disputed charges of sodomy and corruption.
Anwar was previously Mahathir’s deputy, but the two leaders had a falling out during the 1997-1999 Asian financial crisis. He was later freed in 2004 but jailed a second time for sodomy in 2015. Both times, he and his supporters said the charges were politically motivated.
Mahathir secured a royal pardon for Anwar after the May election and promised to step aside for his friend-turned-foe-turned-ally to become prime minister.
Sources: Reuters, Channel News Asia, straitstimes.com