By-election was PH’s idea, not Anwar’s, says analyst

PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim.

GEORGE TOWN: A political analyst has defended the move to hold a by-election for Anwar Ibrahim, the fourth in as many months, saying it is “absolutely necessary” as part of Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) agreement to get the PKR leader involved in the federal government after his pardon and release from jail.

Kamarul Zaman Yusoff acknowledged that the general wish was to avoid yet another by-election but said the promise made in the “Muafakat Pakatan Harapan” should be kept.

He told FMT that the agreement made on Jan 6 clearly stated that Anwar was to immediately play a role in the federal government.

“This emphasises the urgency for Anwar to play a role in the federal government, requiring him to urgently contest in a by-election to play a role as an MP and later, the prime minister,” he said.

He added that it was completely natural for Malaysians to be experiencing political fatigue after the May 9 polls, three by-elections and the accompanying campaigns.

“People are concerned over wasting time, money and resources in by-elections. There is also the possibility of more people becoming disillusioned with politics, as manifested by the very low turn-out in those three by-elections,” he said, referring to the Sungai Kandis, Seri Setia and Balakong by-elections.

“We need to remember that Anwar himself didn’t ask for this, but was forced to do it by circumstances as his right to be an MP was taken away after he was jailed for the second time.

“This by-election for Anwar is very necessary to correct the injustice inflicted upon him and to give him back his rightful place in Malaysian politics.”

Kamarul added that holding a by-election was not Anwar’s personal wish but a collective decision by the four PH component parties which should be honoured.

He voiced confidence that Anwar’s entry into Parliament would “reinvigorate and rejuvenate” the government and help stop the negativities surrounding it.

He also dismissed concerns that the upcoming PKR polls would interfere with the by-election for Anwar.

“In fact, this by-election can help unify and solidify the competing factions within PKR by refocusing them on the party’s real agenda.”

Anwar is expected to announce which seat he will contest today, as well as which MP will be resigning to pave the way for the by-election.