KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — Lim Kit Siang made an appearance in Port Dickson last night, putting his support squarely behind Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim for the by-election that is taking place on Saturday.
He is the second “big gun” rolled out by Pakatan Harapan this week to help boost Anwar’s chances at the polls after Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad attended and spoke at a rally on Monday.
With this, the support from the two main voter groups, Malays and Chinese, in PD is securely in Anwar’s pocket.
The DAP veteran made good on his promise to campaign for Anwar in the Port Dickson by-election which was engineered by PKR to enable Anwar to make a return to the Dewan Rakyat for the first time since February 2015, after he was disqualified when his final appeal against a sodomy conviction had failed.
The Iskandar Puteri MP had previously said that there was no problem in the ruling Pakatan Harapan government over Anwar’s return to the government and his taking over as prime minister eventually.
While Anwar had not mentioned Lim at any point while on the campaign trail over the past two weeks, he finally roped in the DAP supremo by telling the mostly-Chinese crowd at a rally last night that he will work with the veteran MP to reform the country’s Parliament within six months, if he is elected.
Anwar-Lim team for Parliament reform
“Parliament is not a rubberstamp but a place to discuss issues to uphold the interests of the people. I have told Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that we will work together to ensure we have a strong Parliament.
“I will work with Lim to ensure that in six months, Parliament will be reformed,” he said at a rally in the Chinese majority district of Lukut, TODAY reported.
However, the PKR president did not elaborate on what are the areas that needed reform in Parliament.
Lukut is one of the five state seats in the Port Dickson parliamentary ward in the state of Negri Sembilan. The seat has 53.9% Chinese voters, 22.5% Malay, 23.4% Indians.
Anwar repeats Pakatan Harapan manifesto
According to the Singapore news portal, Anwar was reported to have said two months ago that he wants to play a “check-and-balance” role in Parliament by looking at institutional reforms including a review of the affirmative action policy.
He had also said improvements could be made to government procurement and the anti-graft agency to make it into an independent body.
These pledges were all already part of the PH manifesto for the 14th general election, and includes the Penang state government’s practice since 2008 on having open tenders for all government projects, and procurement process.
Anwar also called on voters on how in the “new Malaysia, Pakatan Harapan places an emphasis on good culture and has the people’s interests at heart, regardless of race”.
According to TODAY, the two allies since the previous Pakatan Rakyat coalition, also made a public show of their warm relationship, by giving each other a hug on stage, before Anwar left the rally.
The Port Dickson by-election was triggered after retired navy admiral Danyal Balagopal Abdullah resigned as MP.
Anwar will be facing former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Isa Samad; retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Mohd Nazari Mokhtar, of PAS; and five independent candidates, the most prominent of which is his accuser in the Sodomy II, Saiful Bahari, for the PD by-election taking place on Saturday, October 13.