Anwar will lose if he stands in Permatang Pauh, predicts Umno leader

KUALA LUMPUR: With PKR set to announce tomorrow the parliamentary seat chosen for Anwar Ibrahim to contest, an Umno leader today claimed the former deputy prime minister will lose if he decides to stand in Permatang Pauh.

Lokman Noor Adam cites two reasons for this, namely, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s failure to implement some of its election promises and the “Dr Mahathir Mohamad factor”.

“They want to fulfil 60 pledges in five years, but they can’t even implement 10 in the first 100 days.

“They have only managed to abolish the goods and services tax (GST),” the Umno supreme council member told reporters after welcoming former Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (KITA) president Zamil Ibrahim to the party.

Lokman, who recently lost in the Sungai Kandis by-election, also claimed that people were angry at being duped by lies that Najib Razak had siphoned RM2.6 billion from the 1MDB investment fund as the former prime minister had still not been charged.

“In today’s environment, if Anwar were to contest in Permatang Pauh, I can confirm he will lose,” he said.

Lokman also claimed that Mahathir, the prime minister and PH chairman, would place a candidate to go up against Anwar, especially if the Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS decided to opt out of the contest.

“This is because Dr Mahathir will go all out to prevent Anwar from becoming the next prime minister,” the opposition politician claimed.

Mahathir, whose dramatic sacking of Anwar in 1998 sparked the Reformasi movement, made peace with his former deputy and protégé in 2016, and both men created the coalition that brought down BN in the May polls.

Under a deal struck by the PH leadership, Anwar, who was the Permatang Pauh MP from 2008 to 2015, will succeed Mahathir as prime minister in two years’ time.

But Mahathir had been reported as saying he could stay longer in the post if the coalition partners wanted him to.