August 6, 2008

Permatang Pauh’s favourite son ‘returns’

Anwar Ibrahim has returned to contest his bastion, Permatang Pauh, not merely as a candidate, but as Pakatan Rakyat’s nominee for prime minister.
In declaring this at a rally in Seberang Jaya last night, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng reminded the people of Permatang Pauh that they had a “national duty to give a resounding mandate to the future premier”.
The aim of the Permatang Pauh by-election was not merely for Anwar to earn his rightful place in Parliament, but “to secure the people’s mandate to trigger a change in the nation’s political governance,” said Lim.
“Permatang Pauh constituents must give Anwar a big win to launch the Pakatan Rakyat crusade to topple Barisan Nasional and capture the federal administration.
“The victory road from Permatang Pauh should reach Putrajaya,” the DAP secretary-general told a crowd of some 20,000 cheering people at the Seberang Jaya expo site.
In his speech earlier, Anwar said he had to win the forthcoming by-election to take over the federal administration and initiate urgent crucial changes to save the country from the crisis it was going through.
“The nation and people are suffering due to killer inflation, corruption, judiciary crisis, abuse of power and above all, misappropriation of the country’s wealth by an elite few,” he said at the rally, which kick-started his by-election campaign.
Permatang Pauh has been an Anwar stronghold since the politician made his electoral debut there in the country’s 6th general elections in 1982.
When he was sacked from the government in 1998 and subsequently jailed for six years, many thought it was the end of Anwar.
However, many Malaysians underestimated the opposition stalwart’s feisty resilience.
When he was released in 2004 and became eligible to contest in elections after April 16 this year, Anwar was denied the chance to do so when the ruling BN called for the 12th general election on March 8.
Thus he had to force a by-election to become an elected lawmaker to regain what Lim described as “his rightful place in the August house as an elected representative”.
Anwar’s wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail held the fort since 1999, now paving the way for her husband’s comeback.
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