Saiful to face Anwar, not backed by any party

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 – There is certainly going to be even greater anticipation for the Port Dickson by-election with news that the man who had alleged in 2008 that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had sodomised him will now be facing the PKR president for the parliamentary seat.

The Star reported that the former aide to Anwar had said he was standing as an independent without the support of any party.

“I am contesting purely as an independent without any party backing me. Also, let me set the record straight, I am not contesting because of my past with Anwar but for other reasons,” he was quoted as saying.

Tomorrow is the nomination day for the PD by-election, with the polls set for October 13. The seat fell vacant after PKR’s Danyal Balagopal Abdullah quit as MP, in order for Anwar to contest.

The Pakatan Harapan “Ketua Umum” is expected to win the seat and return to the Dewan Rakyat having been disqualified as Permatang Pauh MP after his sodomy conviction was upheld by the Federal Court in February 2015.

8 candidates so far expected for PD by-election

Sources have revealed that the PD by-election will now see eight candidates, six of whom are independents.

They are Anwar (PKR), retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Mohd Nazari Mokhtar (PAS), former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Tan Sri Isa Samad (Independent), Saiful (Ind), Stevie Chan Keng Leong (Ind), Lau Seck Yan (Ind), Kan Chee Yuen (Ind) and Rajendra Ammasi (Ind).

Barisan Nasional withdrew from the by-election, claiming they were boycotting it because it went against democratic principles with it being held because the previous MP quit the seat just four months after the 14th general election, and not due to the MP’s demise.

Umno President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was quoted as saying that the by-election only stood to help new Anwar fulfill his political ambitions at whatever cost.

“A by-election is called to realise the meaning of democracy to fill a seat when the incumbent dies, so of course we would want to see the democratic process take its course.”

Former PH targets now ready to battle Anwar

The race is now thrown wide open, and it is too early to estimate how voters will see the independent candidates, especially the two high-profile ones – Isa Samad and Saiful Bukhari.

Both men have been the target of Pakatan Harapan supporters as well as PH politicians over the Sodomy II case against Anwar and the allegedly poor and scandal-ridden leadership by the former chairman of both Felda and its public-listed subsidiary, Felda Global Ventures (FGV).

Though Saiful has denied being backed by any party, but some political observers told NMT that there were likely to be hidden hands behind his candidacy.

Saiful had famously sworn on the Quran in August 2008 at a mosque in Permatang Pauh, claiming that Anwar had indeed sodomised him.

More sordid details on sodomy allegations

It was made during Anwar’s campaign in the Permatang Pauh by-election, after his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail stepped down to make way for him. Anwar had refused, at the time, to swear by the Quran that he had not sodomised Saiful.

The campaigning is expected to reach its highs and lows, with some suggesting that there will be a repeat of the swearing on the Quran by Saiful, and maybe this time, even by Anwar.

The details of the sodomy allegations are also expected to be laid bare once again on a very public forum, that is an election campaign.

– NMT