With Anwar's Departure, A Second Major By-Election Looms Ahead For Permatang Pauh
Will Barisan Nasional finally make inroads in Permatang Pauh, or will Anwar's verdict strengthen Pakatan's support?
PKR Wan Azizah Wins With An Increase In Malay And Youth Votes In Permatang Pauh By-Election
PKR’s Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has won the by-election here with a 8,841-vote majority, according to the official vote count.
According to the results from the Election Commission (EC), PKR secured 30,316 votes while Barisan Nasional received 21,475. Independent Salleh Isahak took 367 votes to push Parti Rakyat Malaysia’s (PRM) Azman Shah Othman into last place with 101 votes.
A total of 52,259 ballots were cast, of which 843 were marked as spoilt.
Voter turnout was recorded at almost 74% or 53,145 voters, said the EC, lower than the last general election which had an 88.2% turnout or 62,660 voters.thestar.com.my
PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said tonight that the results of the Permatang Pauh by-election showed an increase of between 4% and 5% of Malay votes, especially the youths.themalaysianinsider.com
Meanwhile, Bersih Calls EC "Stupid" For Disregarding The Phantom Voters As It Is Probably Less Than 10 Cases
On 7 May, Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah said EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof should not have justified cases of voters using other people's identity cards to cast their votes at the ongoing Permatang Pauh by-election as not serious.
In denying the presence of phantom voters, Aziz had instead acknowledged that there are people who found lost identity cards and use the cards to cast their votes. “I wouldn’t consider it serious enough to declare the election results invalid because there are probably less than 10 such cases for more than 70,000 voters here,” he was quoted as saying.
Maria said it is already an offence even if there is only one case of a person using another's identity card to vote. "You cannot justify it is a small matter and that it is less than 10 cases. That's a stupid answer. It is disenfranchising the right of a person to vote."
She said Bersih 2.0 had collected nine cases where people had voted on their behalf, their names missing from the electoral roll or were moved out from the constituency. The group advises the affected people to lodge a police report "If EC does not do this (investigate), it means they are in league to cheat the electorate of Permatang Pauh.”
[PHOTOS] Aggressive Situations At Permatang Pauh Voting Poll As BN And PKR Supporters Turn Violent
The situation at Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Penanti, Kubang Semang became increasingly tense as the 300 PKR and 100 BN supporters increased. BN supporters canvassing for votes held placards with the words "Recycled candidate", "People’s representative, not husband's proxy" and "Enough, it is our turn". They also waved BN flags along the roadside. PKR supporters strung up packets of instant noodles and money on a pole to mock their rivals on the fact that instant noodles, are subject to GST.
Abdul Aziz said "There seem to be many undesirable incidents, like stones and chairs being thrown, insults and threats being hurled. It looks like supporters in Permatang Pauh are very aggressive, unlike in Rompin."
At SMK Guar Perahu,a shouting match ensues between PKR and Umno supporters when PKR's Teruntum MP Sim Chon Siang went to complaint against BN supporters gathering near the school to the EC officials. It got more heated after a PKR supporter threw the first punch at an Umno supporter. Police and the Federal Reserve Unit intervene when supporters started to throw water bottles at each other.
It was the same at the Tanah Liat polling station. PKR and BN supporters pelted stones and threw punches at each other leading to several getting hurt. Both sides accused each other of provocation. Some blamed EC for not separating the supporters according to the 50m regulation.
Eight police trucks arrived to quell the rowdiness and dozens of police in riot gear kept the 200 rival party members apart. Among those on BN's side are Umno Youth exco members Armand Azha Abu Hanifah and Ibdillah Ishak.
More photos from the scene:
Meanwhile, Two Locals Fell Prey To Phantom Voters During Polling Day
Earlier today, DAP elections director and Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim claims that a senior citizen - Tan Soo Eng, 70 year old - became a victim of phantom voter this morning. Tan discovered that her vote was cast by someone else at the SRJKC Jit sin A & B polling centre. "She went to the centre at about 11am this morning and found that someone else has voted under her name and NRIC number. "Election Commission official on duty also wanted to mark her finger with indelible ink but was stopped by our polling agent because Madam Tan has not cast her vote but it was cast by someone else."
Faridah Zakaria, 61 had a shock this morning when she handed her MyKad to an Election Commission (EC) officer at Tanah Liat and was told she could not vote because a ballot had already been cast under her name. Tan Soo Eng, 70, had the same problem at SJK (C) Jit Sin A and C.
Kebun Bunga assemblyman Cheah Kah Peng, who was at the centre, said Tan was even told by an EC officer to dip her finger into the indelible ink. "But one of our polling agents managed to stop her. This is another case of persons using fake MyKads to vote using the identities of others," he said.
On 6 May, PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli said he received complaints from residents of Bandar Perda. “I’ve spoken to both homeowners... I asked one homeowner, who only wanted to be referred to as Mak Teh, who said she knew of no such thing. In fact, five other people were registered as living in her house,” he said today during a press conference at Yayasan Aman.
Further investigation by PKR revealed that the two names listed, Sakinah Ahmed and Nur Fadilawaty Hanafi, are residents of Penang but were registered as living outside the Permatang Pauh constituency, the Pandan MP said. The voting slips were purportedly issued by Barisan Nasional (BN) as a form of public service to inform voters of their polling centres.
He also urged the public to inform PKR if they discover more voting slips with such information as he plans to compile a list of names and inform the party’s agents at each polling centre, in an attempt to detect the phantom voters.
Voting Opens At Permatang Pauh With A Poorer Turnout Compared To Rompin Polling
A total of 25 polling centres with 130 channels for the Permatang Pauh by-election were opened at 8 am today to enable 71,252 voters to cast their ballot.astroawani.com
At 8.05am Barisan Nasional candidate Suhaimi Sabudin arrived at SMK Guar Perahu to cast his vote. Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail arrived at SK Seri Penanti to vote. As of noon 42.93% or 30,865 voters have cast their ballots, EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said, adding that the turnout was relatively low compared to the Rompin by-election on Tuesday.
"We're afraid that in the afternoon, that rate will drop. Nevertheless, the EC still targets a 80% voter turnout. "We hope to announce the results of the Permatang Pauh by-election by 9pm," he said. At 1pm so far 49.73% or 35,752 voters have cast their ballots, the EC said.
The polling conducted at 25 voting centres will be closed at 5pm.nst.com.my
BN's Unusual Late-Night House Visits Are Raising Bribery Suspicion
PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli has raised concern on 4 May over Barisan Nasional's latest campaign tactics in Permatang Pauh. "We noticed a drastic drop in their nightly campaign talks, replaced with these late-night door-to-door visits," he said, adding that since it was unlikely that the EC could be relied upon to take charge of the matter, voters in the constituency needed to be extra vigilant and report any wrongdoings.
"Such clandestine visits obviously begs the question if money, bribes or offering of incentives are taking place in exchange for votes in the polls next Thursday. The EC should monitor this closely to avoid violations in the Election Act," he told reporters in Permatang Pauh on 4 May.
Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin claimed of some “unusual movements” suggesting the possibility that phantom voters are being transported into the federal constituency by rented buses ahead of polling day this Thursday. He also alleged that there were large sections of registered voters being removed and replaced by others in the latest electoral roll for Permatang Pauh.themalaymailonline.com
PAS Members Protesting Against Wan Azizah's Candidacy Are Not Actual Party Members
A group of unhappy PKR members from Selangor called 'Suara Akar Umbi Keadilan' (Sauk) rejected their party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's candidacy, saying that she would not be capable of serving two seats in two states. The group's president, Mazli Saring, 47, said the members were unhappy with Dr Wan Azizah as she had retired in 2008 but is now representing PKR in the by-election."For a few months now she has been busy with Permatang Pauh while problems like flood and others in Kajang remain unresolved," he said in a press conference in Permatang Pauh today. "Political games are being prioritised instead of what the people in Kajang and Permatang Pauh want," he said. He was not convinced that Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali could look after Kajang for Wan Azizah. Another issue was that she has neglected PKR and should be focusing on resolving the internal party's conflict. "We have so many who are unhappy with the situation. We have 2,000 to 3,000 members who are behind us, feeling the same way," he claimed according to The Malaysian Insider.
PKR leaders continue to keep mum on the silent protest stage by PAS members and supporters after the Friday's prayers at Masjid Batu, Kampung Pertama 4 April. Vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar said the matter had been consistently addressed.“We have very clear cut instruction from the PAS hierarchy as all top PAS leaders are in full force to support us and we don't want to broach the subject anymore,” she told a press conference at the Yayasan Aman on 5 April.However, PKR Youth Deputy Chief Dr Afif Bahardin denied the group who had staged their protest were actual PAS members. He said PAS division had sent out messages informing that the group were actually not their members as claimed. “We will leave it to them to find out and resolve the matter,” he said.themalaymailonline.com
Anwar Ibrahim Sues The EC For Not Allowing Him To Vote
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyers will file a lawsuit against the Election Commission (EC). “After the legal notice was sent, we did not receive a direct response from him (EC chair Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof) however, we read in a news portal that he is not going to entertain our demand. So, we are going to initiate a legal action against him to compel him to allow Anwar to exercise his basic right to vote,” Surendran said.
“This is also a dangerous trend when the EC chair himself does not respect the rights of a citizen to vote. It is not about Anwar now but upholding basic principles,” Surendran said.
In a legal demand sent to Aziz early yesterday, Surendran said that the former Permatang Pauh MP had registered to vote before he was imprisoned and EC’s refusal was a “breach of law”. Surendran said Aziz cannot disregard Anwar’s right to vote, citing Article 119(3)(a) and 119(4)(b) of the Federal Constitution. The two provisions state that a person can be disqualified from voting if he or she is jailed at the time of registration.
Kajang Locals Grumble That Wan Azizah Is Overstretching Herself
Complaints by constituents suggest there is credibility to claims that the PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would be stretched to cater to the interests of both Kajang and Permatang Pauh satisfactorily based on her performance in Kajang.
“She is a sleeping YB. Never comes here, unlike Cikgu Lee,” said Koh Hong Toong, referring to former PKR lawmaker Lee Kim Sin who won in Election 2008. Koh also complained that traffic conditions have worsened since PKR won here, despite its pledge to alleviate the problem when campaigning for the by-election last March.
The constituency was also the site of heavy floods during the monsoonal season late last year. When asked if he saw any promises fulfilled after the polls, the 44-year-old mobile phone seller briefly said: “Never, never.”
A newspaper vendor, Subramaniam echoed Koh’s view. “Why you do not focus on people here? You are here, then you help people here. Got poor people, dirty roads, say can help but did not help. Talk a lot, but no action,” the 57-year-old said. “If she cannot handle Kajang, can she handle Permatang Pauh?” a 25-year-old legal assistant who identified herself only as Nana.
Meanwhile, Anwar Urges Permatang Pauh To Support Wan Azizah
Incarcerated Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has sent word to the voters of Permatang Pauh asking them to support his wife PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in the upcoming by-election. Anwar wrote a letter which was uploaded on his Twitter account.therakyatpost.com
In the handwritten note dated 27 April written when he attended the Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court, Anwar expressed his gratitude to supporters for keeping him in their prayers, and vowed to continue his struggle even behind bars.themalaymailonline.com
"Insya'allah (God willing) I would persevere (in facing the five-year jail term) and continue to fight on. The country is facing numerous tyrannical actions and the government is abusing the people, including the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). I hope you would support Wan Azizah as the PKR and Pakatan Rakyat candidate to uphold justice and to represent you," he said.malaysiakini.com
Wan Azizah Counters Umno's Claims That She Is Representing Anwar And Not PKR
Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah, 62, is urging villagers across the federal constituency to elect her as their lawmaker in Parliament although she also sits in the Selangor assembly as the assemblyman for Kajang. In her speeches to at least four different “ceramah kelompok”, she told voters that the distance between Kajang in Selangor and Permatang Pauh in Penang would not hamper her ability to serve both seats adequately.
Her deputy Azmin Ali, she pointed out, is also the mentri besar of Selangor, which is home to Kajang. “If there are any problems, I can always ask the mentri besar to resolve it for me,” she said, delivering her brief five-minute speech from a makeshift operations centre under a small canopy in the village.
In regards to Umno suggesting that PKR was using the contest as part of its plan to keep Anwar in power. Wan Azizah insisted last night that the strategy was not part of any political game by PKR. “They (BN) say we are not serious in this by-election by fielding me, but we must remember, my husband is in prison, it is very serious,” she said.
This In Response To Umno Penang Calling Wan Azizah's Candidacy For PKR As "Political Oppurtunism"
Umno Penang Chairman Zainal Abidin Osman pointed out that PKR President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, would probably become Opposition Leader if elected as MP. That would be yet another role for her, he added, besides being a mother and grandmother and Assemblywoman for Kajang. “Surely, that’s too much to ask of her,” said Zainal Abidin in striking a sympathetic note. “The people should vote wisely.”
“Wan Azizah’s desire to become a MP some 300km away from Kajang was political opportunism.” He claimed that Wan Azizah, if elected Permatang Pauh MP, would not be a people’s representative but a husband’s representative.
She said that Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali would help her in Kajang. Pulau Betong Assemblyman Muhammad Farid Saad chipped in that Wan Azizah’s candidacy in Permatang Pauh, a seat in Penang, was an act of injustice to the people as she was already Kajang Assemblywoman. “Is it fair and just to field someone who is already an elected representative in Selangor?”
On the other hand, Azman Shah Othman who claims to be representing Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) has been denied by PRM and has confirmed Azman is not a member.
Penang Declares Public Holiday For Permatang Pauh Polling Day
Penang has declared May 7 as a public holiday to enable voters to come out and vote on polling day for the Permatang Pauh by-election.therakyatpost.com
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the initiative was to allow voters, especially those living out of town and have busy work schedules, to cast their votes. “After much discussion with state excos, May 7 has been gazetted as a state level public holiday,” said Lim during a press conference on 27 April.thestar.com.my
"We hope the private sector can also observe the state holiday. If they cannot, we hope they can allow their staff, who are Permatang Pauh voters, some time to go and cast their votes. There are about 6,000 outstation voters in Permatang Pauh, whom Pakatan Rakyat is trying to convince to return home for the polls.themalaysianinsider.com
EC Declares Anwar Has No Right To Vote
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is not qualifed to vote in the Permatang Pauh by-election on May 7, Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof. "(He is) not qualified according to Article 119(3)(a) of the Federal Constitution," Aziz said in a Whatsapp message last night, when asked if Anwar could vote in the by-election.
Article 119(3)(a) of the Federal Constitution states that "a person is disqualified for being a elector in any election to the House of Representatives or the Legislative Assembly if on the qualifying date he is detained as a person of unsound mind or is serving a sentence of imprisonment”.
This Is In Response To PKR Nurul Izzah Asking For Anwar's Right To Vote
On 26 April, jailed PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should be allowed to cast his vote at the Permatang Pauh by-election, said his daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar. In July 2013, “The home minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said that continuous talks will be held between the police and the Election Commission (EC) to ensure that prisoners fulfill their rights as voters,” she said.
Saying that Zahid had also recommended that provisions be enacted under the EC by-laws, Nurul Izzah said that she welcomed such suggestions by proposing that the Permatang Pauh by-election become the first pilot project for prisoners such as Anwar to exercise their rights come May 7.
“Isn’t the one year that has been allocated to formulate the mechanisms in line with the Prisons Act 1965 and the Federal Constitution have already passed since?” she asked.
When asked whether any application had been forwarded to the Home Ministry to enable Anwar to cast his vote in the by-election, Nurul Izzah said that the call is general in nature and not just specific to Anwar alone.
She also said the Prison Act allowed convicts to leave the prison premises on certain occasions, such as funerals, and allowing them to vote was also in-line with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia's (Suhakam) recommendations as stated in Article 21 of the Constitution.
PKR Pits Wan Azizah Against BN's Suhaimi Sabudin For Permatang Pauh By-Election
Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has been named as the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) candidate for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election. PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali made the announcement at the Seberang Perai Arena in the constituency here last night. The crowd cheered as the 63-year-old PKR president and Kajang assemblyman came on stage.asiaone.com
Suhaimi Sabudin, 44, has been named the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election. The Permatang Pauh Umno division secretary's candidacy was announced here by Barisan Nasional deputy chairman and Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Thursday.thestar.com.my
Suhaimi, 43, from Guar Jering is the managing director in a construction company and also the former Guar Jering Umno Youth deputy chief. The father of four received his early education at Sekolah Kebangsaan Guar Perahu and Sekolah Menengah Penanti, Permatang Pauh before furthering his studies at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang. He holds a bachelors degree in Housing, Building and Planning.freemalaysiatoday.com
The Election Commission has set today for nomination with May 7 as the polling day for the by-election and May 3 for early voting. The Election Commission has said that the 2013 voters' list would be used together with the latest list of newly registered voters. The list comprises 71,890 voters, of whom 71,252 are voters, 627 early voters and 11 postal voters.asiaone.com
PKR's Last Resort May Be Wan Azizah For Permatang Pauh By-Election
PKR has shortlisted two candidates for the Permatang Pauh by-election, party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah revealed. "The choice of candidates was also consented to by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's through lawyers, and also based on the party's consensus. "The nomination of the candidate will be announced on Apr 24 night," she told reporters at a press conference on Saturday after launching the party's operation centre in Taman Samagagah.thestar.com.my
However there are conflicting results. According to The Rakyat Post, with two days before nomination, pressure increases at PKR's headquarters during last night’s meeting when a final decision could not be reached on their candidate.
According to a party insider, the party is hitting a dead end at trying to think of a candidate other than Wan Azizah. It would be a gamble for her to be a candidate as there are risks of losing votes. It is revealed, that Wan Azizah has been rejected as a candidate at the grassroots level and after her “warm-up rounds” in the constituency last week.
“The turnout during her visit to all three state constituencies of Seberang Jaya, Bukit Mertajam and Permatang Pasir did not see an enthusiastic crowd. It was clear she wasn’t a favourite there anymore after the stunt she pulled in 2008,” said the source, referring to the time back in 2008 when Wan Azizah relinquished her MP post there to pave way for her husband.
There have been suggestions for the party’s former secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution to contest in Permatang Pauh, which was strongly opposed by PKR vice-president Azmin Ali. “That is Azmin’s way of stopping someone else besides him to become Opposition leader as he is against it at all cost,” said the source.
PAS's Status In Supporting PKR Is Still Unknown Due To Conflicting Opinions
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) will continue discussions with PAS and is optimistic the two parties will reach a consensus to cooperate in campaigning for the Permatang Pauh Parliamentary by-election. Penang PKR chairman Datuk Mansor Othman said all party levels in PKR and PAS would continue with discussions to resolve the issue before nomination day on Saturday.
Conceding that there was dissatisfaction among PAS members, he was still confident that party members would support the PKR cadidate to be announced soon he told reporters after launching the PKR Media Centre at Bangunan Yayasan Aman, here yesterday. He said the DAP and PAS had agreed to make way and they would support the PKR candidate to contest in this constituency.
However, according to the Star PAS will not be campaigning in the election. PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang says he respects the decision of its Permatang Pauh division not to campaign in the May 7 by-election. However, he reaffirmed the party’s position within the opposition pact. “We are still with Pakatan, but with regards to Permatang Pauh, we respect their decision. I cannot just read their views from the media, I have to listen to them,” he said after speaking at the “Hudud from Hadi’s Perspective” dialogue session organised by Sinar Harian yesterday. Hadi was asked to respond to Permatang Pauh PAS division’s stand to not cooperate with PKR in the by-election if its leaders do not apologise to the Islamist party by Saturday. The division demanded that the PKR leadership apologise for not supporting the Kelantan state government’s move to table the private Members Bill in Parliament.
Meanwhile, A Lawyer Has Been Named As BN's Most Likely Candidate
Lawyer Mohd Norsafri Safri emerged as the leading name to be the Barisan Nasional candidate in the Permatang Pauh by-election. Barisan is expected to name the 36-year-old from Umno to contest the seat this afternoon.
Barisan’s election director for Permatang Pauh Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will make the announcement in the presence of Umno deputy president and Barisan deputy chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.
Mohd Norsafri, who is a graduate of the International Islamic University, is related to Permatang Pauh Umno division chief Datuk Mohd Zaidi Said. It was reported that Ahmad Zaidi had said two names, both locals and new faces, had been submitted to the party leadership for consideration.
Among those mentioned were Penang Biro Tatanegara director and Permatang Pauh Umno information chief Hasan Mohammad, and Dr Mazlan Ismail who had contested against Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in 2013. Even though Dr Mazlan successfully reduced Anwar’s majority by 5,000 votes then, it is learnt that his chances to be picked are slim as he had failed to submit his election expenses report to the Election Commission within the one-month limit after the last general election.
PKR Races To Announce Permatang Pauh By-Election Nominee Before BN's Reveal
PKR has already decided on its candidate for the Permatang Pauh poll, the party vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar confirmed on 15 April. The Lembah Pantai MP said the party will reveal the identity of the candidate before their political rival, Barisan Nasional (BN), reveals their candidate on 23 April.
“The party will definitely reveal the candidate soon, the plan was to reveal it before BN,” she told reporters after meeting with party grassroots members at Tepian Padang in Kampung Pertama here together with her younger sister Nurul Iman Anwar. She added that not many were shortlisted as possible candidates for the by-election this May 7.
Clarifying that the party faced a big challenge in identifying the right winnable candidate for the by-election, Nurul hinted that her party had settled on one name that they were confident would be acceptable to the party and voters alike. Nurul acknowledged that people were most likely weary of by-elections and pointed out that “the candidate must be able to convince voters to come out and vote on that day.”
She also admitted that PKR was concerned about a low voter turnout as polling day for the by-election fell on May 7, a working Thursday in most states. It is widely believed that the PKR candidate is party president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Anwar’s wife.
Meanwhile, Gerakan Is Confident About Winning The Permatang Pauh Seat For BN
Gerakan, with its 3,000 members in Permatang Pauh, will go all out to ensure a victory for Barisan Nasional (BN) in the upcoming by-election there, said its president Mah Siew Keong. He said the party’s election machinery would meet each and every voter there to counter issues raised by the opposition.freemalaysiatoday.com
“We are confident we (BN) will do better in Permatang Pauh. Even though it is an opposition stronghold, it does not mean the BN cannot win. Nothing is impossible in politics. We have shown this in Teluk Intan (when Mah beat the DAP candidate against tremendous odds in a by-election). We can do it again so long as we work as one team,” he told reporters.bernama.com.my
The EC Has Officially Announced The Permatang Pauh By-Election Dates
The Permatang Pauh by-election will be held on May 7 and nomination on April 25. "There will be 12 days of campaigning and advance voting will be on May 3, " Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said.thestar.com.my
He said 71,890 voters were eligible to cast their ballots, of whom 71,252 were normal voters and 626 advance voters.straitstimes.com
The chairman added that applications for postal voting will close on April 27 for those in the country. “Dewan Perdana, Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara (IKBN), Bukit Mertajam will be used as the nomination and counting centre, while 26 polling centres will be set up,” he told reporters, adding that early voting will be held at Dewan Gemilang at the Seberang Perai Tengah district police station. The by-election is expected to cost RM1,973,816 to conduct.therakyatpost.com
Dewan Rakyat Disqualifies Anwar Ibrahim As MP, But His Lawyers Beg To Differ
The disqualification of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Permatang Pauh MP has been announced in the Dewan Rakyat.thestar.com.my
In a press statement today, Dewan Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia said this follows a letter he received from the Pardons Board that Anwar's request for a royal pardon had been rejected. "Therefore, YB Permatang Pauh has lost his eligibility as an MP," he said.thesundaily.my
However, Anwar Ibrahim's lawyer, Latheefa Koya insists he has not been formally disqualified as a federal lawmaker yet. She insists the dismissal of the pardon should come directly from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or the palace. Without formal communication from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the announcement is deemed “premature”. Also, "no decision on the rejection of the petition has been communicated to DSAI (Anwar) or his family, who in fact had made the pardon application, from the YDPA (Agong) or the palace,” Latheefa insisted.
Moreover, the letter from the board had referred to an undated petition for pardon under Regulation 113, which she said allows a prisoner to apply for pardon from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. But, she stressed, Anwar had not been the one who sought pardon.
“Furthermore, the letter states the pardons board made the decision on 16th March 2015. However this purported decision was only made known 10 days later via an affidavit in response to an application by Anwar to attend parliament,” she said, referring to Anwar’s judicial review of the prisons department’s decision to bar him from attending Parliament. “As such both the speaker and the EC has fallen into serious error in considering that the pardon petition has been disposed of, and regarding the Permatang Pauh seat as vacant,” the lawyer added.
EC Will Decide On The Vacancy Of Anwar's Permatang Pauh Seat Next Week
The Election Commission (EC) will meet on 8 April (Wednesday) regarding the Permatang Pauh by-election, said its secretary Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh.astroawani.com
Its purpose is to decide on the matter after the seat fell vacant following the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decision not to grant a royal pardon to its MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is currently serving a five-year jail for sodomy.thestar.com.my
"Accordingly, pursuant to Article 54 (1) of the Federal Constitution the seat is now 'contingent' vacant," Abdul Ghani said in a statement. He said the meeting, to be chaired by EC chairman Tan Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, will be held at 10am at the EC headquarters, and it will be followed by a press conference later.
On the agenda are important dates like the date of the P.44 Permatang Pauh seat vacancy, nomination day, early voting day and polling day. "Other than that, the meeting will also discuss the electoral roll that will be used for the by-election and other preparations needed," Abdul Ghani added.
Anwar's Application For Royal Pardon Has Been Rejected
The Pardons Board has rejected Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s petition for a royal pardon, a senior government lawyer confirmed to the High Court today. “On 16 March 2015, the Pardons Board rejected Anwar’s application for pardon, and since the (forfeiture) of his position of MP takes effect immediately under the Federal Constitution, there is no basis for the (judicial review) application to proceed, and it has been dismissed by the court,” Amarjeet said.themalaymailonline.com
However, no explanation for the decision was given. “We would definitely be appealing on the leave rejection, and we will be asking for further information as to what is going on,” said Latheefa Koya, one of Anwar’s lawyers. His last legal option is to file a judicial review with the Federal Court.freemalaysiatoday.com
The lawyers refuse the dismissal as the only indication of the rejection was the documents supplied by Amarjeet. It did not state that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has decided on the petition. When asked how the Secretariat of the Pardons Board could provide the affidavit conveying the dismissal if a decision had not been made, Latheefa said she did not know.
The rejection will result in Anwar serving a five-year prison term for sodomy, his disqualification as Permatang Pauh MP and federal opposition leader. Pakatan Rakyat will have to elect a new opposition leader, during a time when allies DAP and PAS are openly hostile towards each other over disagreements on hudud and other issues.
Anwar's Last Chance For Freedom Is Likely Gone
The application to obtain royal pardon for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is likely rejected by the Pardons Board as it was disposed of on March 16. However, it is not known whether Anwar, Dr Wan Azizah, Nurul Izzah, and the Dewan Rakyat Speaker were officially notified.themalaysianinsider.com
Also, it was not revealed if the royal pardon was granted, and the official decision regarding the petition will be announced in the Appellate and Special Powers Court here on Wednesday (1 April 2015), said his lawyer N. Surendran.
The decision was conveyed to Anwar's lawyers in the form of an affidavit issued by Datuk Nursiah Arshad, the Prime Minister's Department legal affairs director-general, who is also part of the Pardons Board.
If the petition is rejected it means that the Permatang Pauh MP’s seat will be declared vacant. In an immediate response, Anwar's daughter and Lembah Pantai MP, Nurul Izzah said in a text message, "Only YDP Agong must formally state the decision. As such, we cannot accept any statement coming out from interested parties.themalaysianinsider.com
Anwar's Fate As Permatang Pauh MP Lies In The Hands Of The King
Anwar Ibrahim’s status as the Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh will only be determined after his pardon petition has been decided upon by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, said Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia.freemalaysiatoday.com
Anwar's family led by his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also PKR president, submitted an application for a royal pardon over Anwar's sodomy conviction on 24 February 2015. PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil told The Malaysian Insider that the initiative to seek a royal pardon for Anwar was done by the family and not the party.themalaysianinsider.com
In a statement yesterday, Pandikar Amin said he had received a copy of the petition filed by Anwar’s wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar yesterday afternoon at the Istana Negara. Pandikar Amin said Article 48 (4) (C) in the Federal Constitution allowed a lawmaker who filed for a royal pardon to keep his post, until the appeal had been dealt with. The speaker said this being the case, he will not declare the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat vacant.theedgemarkets.com
The power to grant a pardon lies with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and is without any political interference, says Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. "It is not a political body. In fact, in any federal body, the prime minister cannot be involved so no one can influence the decision it makes," he added.themalaysianinsider.com
Not A Good Idea For Permatang Pauh To Remain In Anwar's Family, Analysts Say
It has been suggested that while any candidate from Anwar's party, PKR, could easily win the state seat in Penang, it was equally important for the opposition to show that it was taking steps to move out of his shadow, and to unite and become a credible challenge to the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), now that their leader is in jail.themalaysianinsider.com
However, political analyst Dr Lim Teck Ghee said PKR would be seen as a party that practised nepotism should it field one of Anwar's immediate family members, adding that it would make the party less credible in its struggle against such politics after having accused BN of the same. "She should contest only after having shown she has served in politics and has fulfilled the same conditions as the rest of them," said the director of the Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI).themalaysianinsider.com
Ibrahim Suffian, the executive director of independent pollster Merdeka Center, said the Permatang Pauh seat was synonymous with Anwar and his family, and that anyone who contested must gain the opposition leader's approval. "The main benchmark is not whether the candidate is Anwar's daughter, but who can carry on his agenda," said Ibrahim.themalaysianinsider.com
"The individual fielded should be able to carry out the duties not just that of a PKR MP, but must also mend the ties between the PR component parties, because lately their relationship has been strained. So it is not just about PKR, but PR," he said.themalaysianinsider.com
Nurul Izzah Denies Rumours Of Her Siblings Contesting In Permatang Pauh
PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar has dismissed claims that one of her siblings may be entering politics and contesting in elections.
“The media asked me, ‘which of your siblings will be contesting this time?. Let me ask you, if you were in our position, would you want to contest in any election in Malaysia.
“The media does not have freedom. Maybe the online media gives coverage, but what about the mainstream media?” she asked during a speech in front of more than 200 people at the Taman Cheras Jaya Community Hall on Sunday.
Anwar Will Remain As Permatang Pauh MP And Opposition Leader For Two More Weeks
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia said Anwar Ibrahim will remain as Permatang Pauh MP until Feb 24, two weeks after the Federal Court verdict which convicted him on sodomy charges.malaysiakini.com
“As such, I, as the Dewan Rakyat speaker, can only announce the vacancy of the Permatang Pauh seat the moment the Yang Berhormat loses his eligibility as a member of Parliament, in accordance with Clause 4 Article 48 of the Federal Constitution,” he added.
He also added the seat would not be considered vacant if Anwar chose to file a petition to seek a royal pardon within the 14 day period. If this is done, then the question of eligibility would be on hold until the decision on the petition is known.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will remain the Opposition Leader until he is officially disqualified as Permatang Pauh MP, said Lim Guan Eng.
“Anwar will remain the Permatang Pauh MP if he seeks a pardon from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong who will then suspend the disqualification until the petition is disposed as stated in Clause 4(c) of the same Article.
“But then again, it depends on whether Anwar wants to seek a pardon or not,” he said in a press conference yesterday.
In Subang Jaya, Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali said Anwar would continue to be the state economic adviser despite being in prison. “His position (as economic adviser) remains,” he told reporters yesterday. Asked how Anwar could serve as adviser while behind bars, Azmin said: “Why not? He can convey his messages through lawyers or family. We certainly need his advice.”thestar.com.my
Looks Like Pakatan Rakyat Is Grooming Anwar's Second Daughter For Permatang Pauh
Although the vacancy for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat has not being announced yet, some political observers see Nurul Nuha, the opposition leader's second-eldest daughter, coming to the fore to continue the family's political legacy.themalaysianinsider.com
The 31-year-old will be the second of Anwar’s daughters to enter into politics, if she decides to follow in the footsteps of elder sister Nurul Izzah, who is a PKR vice-president and the Lembah Pantai MP. Sources said Permatang Pauh should remain within Anwar’s family as it has been the family’s stronghold since he was elected its MP in 1982.themalaymailonline.com
Speculation had been rife that Anwar will be handing over his Permatang Pauh seat to Nurul Nuha since the last general election. It was reported the party had toyed with the idea because Nurul Nuha, a mother of two with a spitting image of Dr Wan Azizah, is a young candidate who has a “clean” background.themalaymailonline.com
Nurul Nuha, 31, a housewife with a degree in arts and visual technology from George Mason University, United States, was given an "early assignment" to lead the 'March to Freedom' – a campaign to secure her father's freedom from a sodomy conviction.themalaysianinsider.com
Nurul Izzah did not confirm if Nurul Nuha would be the candidate for Permatang Pauh, insisting that the family’s focus right now was to free Anwar. “Our main concern right now is on the national campaign, which is purely a domestic-based movement and a family affair, not a political agenda,” Nurul Izzah said.themalaymailonline.com
Anwar Ibrahim Is Likely To Be Disqualified As A Member Of Parliament (MP) Following His Sodomy Conviction And Five-Year Jail Term
Article 48 (1) (e) of the Federal Constitution states that an MP can be disqualified if he is jailed for more than one year and fined more than RM2,000.
This is the second time that Anwar can be disqualified as MP after he was found guilty sentenced to six years’ jail for corruption on April 14, 1999.
The Election Commission Is Already Waiting For The Dewan Rakyat Speaker's Declaration Of The Seat As Vacant To Decide On The By-Election Dates
The Election Commission will announce the vacancy for the Permatang Pauh seat after receiving a note from the Dewan Rakyat Speaker. "It will announce dates for the by-election within 10 days after the seat becomes vacant," EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said.thestar.com.my
Penang Umno Is Already On Their Toes. They Had Been Preparing For The By-Election Ever Since The Court Of Appeal Found Anwar Guilty In March 2014.
Penang Umno has been readying itself for a by-election in the Permatang Pauh Parliamentary constituency since March last year, when the Court of Appeal sentenced MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to five years' jail on for sodomy.thestar.com.my
Penang Umno chief Zainal Abidin Osman and Permatang Pauh division chief Mohd Zaidi Mohd Said said the party had been preparing to face the by-election since last year. However, both admitted in separate press statements that it would be a tough electoral battle. The seat has been Anwar’s fortress since 1982.
“But we have a fighting chance,” said Zainal Abdin. “Whatever the end result, we will fight till the end.”
Anwar First Contested For The Parliamentary Seat In The 1982 General Election. Pakatan Rakyat Has Been Helming The Seat Ever Since.
Anwar, 66, of Cherok Tok Kun, Bukit Mertajam, Penang first contested the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in the 1982 general election. Representing the Barisan Nasional (BN), Anwar easily beat Zabidi Ali of PAS with a 14,352 majority vote. He retained the seat in the following general elections until he was jailed six years’ on April 14, 1999 for corruption and was disqualified.abnxcess.com
The Permatang seat was then contested and won by his wife, Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in the general election on Nov 10, 1999. Wan Azizah continued to defend the seat until her resignation on July 31, 2008 to make way for Anwar to contest the seat in a by-election in Aug 2008. Anwar won the seat by beating Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah (BN) with a majority of 15,671 votes.abnxcess.com
For The People Of Permatang Pauh, Life Goes On. After Experiencing The Historical 2008 By-Election, Another By-Election Does Not Seem Like A Big Deal Anymore.
In the somewhat quiet town, after speaking to some local folks, it was gathered that Anwar’s absence would not really impact them as “Anwar’s presence in Permatang Pauh has never really been felt anyway”.therakyatpost.com
Retiree Sharif Razak, 65, of Kampung Samagagah, Pekan Permatang, a former Umno deputy chief in the area since 1978, when he first knew Anwar, said Anwar’s absence would not make any difference and it would not be felt as he was rarely seen there anyway. “I have to admit he made a good Opposition leader as he was very eloquent and provided the check and balance needed by the country. “But many here are disappointed with his ‘all talk but no action’ approach,” added Sharif.therakyatpost.com
Asked whether Permatang Pauh was ready to see another by-election, Sharif said that it was no big deal as the local folks here had gotten used to by-elections here. “We had a historical by-election in 2008 and this whole town was abuzz with you people (the media). “Whoever replaces Anwar, I hope it is someone who is capable of working for the rakyat and does not use the political platform to achieve his or her personal agenda.therakyatpost.com
“It doesn’t matter which party the person is from. Our hope is for a leader who can really lead and reach out to the people, regardless of the background,” he said.therakyatpost.com
The Voters Are Confident That Pakatan Rakyat Will Retain The Seat, But Expect Barisan Nasional To Reduce The Majority As They Did In The Previous Polls
Voters in Permatang Pauh said PKR will keep the parliamentary seat when they go to the polls in the next by-election no matter how strong a challenge Barisan Nasional mounts to wrest back the seat.
The most Barisan Nasional (BN) could manage, they say, is reduce the majority of votes won by PKR, Anwar's party, in the previous polls.
An elderly voter in Permatang Pauh told The Malaysian Insider that he was confident the seat would remain with the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, and the constituency would see little change.themalaysianinsider.com
Daud Salleh, 61, had seen many elections in Permatang Pauh and he will soon witness the third by-election there caused by Anwar. He said he doubted that it would see the same momentum as the earlier ones, so he too was expecting PKR to win with a reduced majority. "I think there will be a low turnout this time, which is not unusual in by-elections. I think fence-sitters will also be a factor that determines how many votes PKR and BN can each get.themalaysianinsider.com