Sunday, July 27, 2008

Anwar mulling seat options for Parliament

By Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim cut his by-election deadline to a few days before thousands of would-be voters in Taman Bukit Anggerik, Cheras here last night. The neighbourhood is under the Bandar Tun Razak parliamentary constituency, one of the seats the Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader has set his eye upon.

He also revealed the reason why he has not made the announcement yet — a decision has yet to be reached.

“I can't make a final decision yet because other areas are asking me to run there as well. Kulim Bandar Baru (in Kedah) people have asked me and I will discuss with them tomorrow.

“Our friends in Sarawak and Sabah say, if you're serious about wanting us to join Pakatan Rakyat in bringing down Umno-BN, you have to enter Parliament first,” he said in his hour-long speech.

In setting the deadline, the prime minister-in-waiting made it clear that it was a 50-50 choice between Kulim Bandar Baru and Bandar Tun Razak — Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is currently the MP.

Kulim Bandar Baru is waiting for an election petition to decide next month whether there would be a by-election. The current MP is Zulkifli Noordin from PKR.

While praising the new Penang state government under Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng of DAP, Anwar said: “I am from Penang too, but who knows, maybe next month, I will be from Bandar Tun Razak.”

“There is a possibility I will run here,” he said later in his ceramah.

With that in mind, Anwar called on the audience to obtain as much material on their agenda as possible to distribute among their neighbours who had yet to join his cause.

“Buy Harakah (the Pas party organ), buy Suara Keadilan (the PKR party organ) and give them to your neighbours. If they don't want to take it, give it together with some kuih (cookies). Tell them Anwar sends his regards, come on board quickly.”

He lambasted Umno’s role in the other headlining current topic — its attempts at muzakarah (dialogue) with Pas.

“Before the election they never talked about Malay unity,” he said as he poured doubt on Umno’s motives.

Anwar continues his national tour in Kulim tonight where he is likely to gauge support there before making his choice of parliamentary constituency.