KUBANG SEMANG, April 5 ― PKR de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will defend his seat in Permatang Pauh and not go to Tambun, Perak. The PKR de-facto leader announced his decision at a ceramah at Taman Pauh here amidst cheering from the crowd. “While my intention was to help the campaign in Perak and if I look at it rationally and strategically, it would have to be Tambun but because of the heart, soul, relationship and spirit of Permatang Pauh in their support for me, I have to defend my seat,” he said. Anwar had earlier said he will decide between contesting in Tambun and his home ground.
He had also announced in an earlier event here that if he doesn’t contest in Tambun, Siti Aishah Shaik Ismail will contest in that seat. Siti Aishah is the PKR wanita youth chief. The incumbent Tambun MP is Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, who is also Finance Minister II. “I have discussed this with other PKR leaders and we felt that by going to Tambun, it would cause a jump in support for us and we could even win a few seats there,” he said. However, Anwar said he had to consider the Permatang Pauh factor. “My relationship with Permatang Pauh is not about elections or about them supporting me because I’m in government or in the Opposition but because they are family,” he said.
He said he had never forgotten the support he and his wife, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, had always received from the people of Permatang Pauh, even when he was in jail. “I will continue to defend this seat but I apologise as I will be going nationwide to campaign so I will only be here once in a while,” he said to a crowd of about 2,000 people at a football field in the middle of a residential area. He called on his Permatang Pauh supporters to help him defend his “fort” while he was away helping the campaign in other states. Anwar received a resounding yes, cheers and applause.
He admitted that Wan Azizah had advised him against going to Tambun. “When I was at the Sama Gagah Mosque just now, someone came up to ask me where I plan to go in Perak so I told him Tambun,” he shared during the ceramah. “Then he came back to me and asked me, how could the next Prime Minister be from Tambun.” Wan Azizah had held the Permatang Pauh seat for two terms, and gave up the seat to Anwar in 2008. Anwar won the seat in the by-election in August 2008, after Wan Azizah resigned, defeating Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah by a majority of 16,210 votes. ~themalaysianinsider.com~