Saiful: I am contesting in Port Dickson

Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan says he is contesting in Port Dickson on his own accord.

PETALING JAYA: Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, the man at the centre of the sodomy charge against Anwar Ibrahim that sent the PKR leader to jail three years ago, is the latest addition to a long list of individuals who have expressed their intention to contest the Port Dickson by-election.

The former aide to the PKR president-elect confirmed to FMT that he would be filing his nomination papers for the Oct 13 by-election in Port Dickson, seen as a launchpad for Anwar’s return to Parliament.

“I will be contesting as an independent,” he told FMT when contacted, adding that the decision was his own.

“No one is behind me. I just want to represent the people and celebrate democracy,” he said.

Saiful also pledged not to bring up the sodomy case during campaigning.

“I am not contesting for personal reasons, and I will not raise anything about the sodomy case,” he added.

In 2008, Saiful accused Anwar of sodomising him in an apartment in Damansara. Following a series of court trials and appeals, Anwar was found guilty by the Federal Court and subsequently sentenced to five years’ jail in February 2015.

A week after Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the May 9 polls, he was released after being granted a royal pardon.

Under an agreement between PH parties, Anwar will be made the eighth prime minister, replacing Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Port Dickson seat fell vacant after its incumbent Danyal Balagopal Abdullah stepped down to make way for Anwar.

In the May elections, Danyal, a former naval officer, won with 36,225 votes, beating Barisan Nasional’s VS Mogan (18,515 votes) and PAS’ Mahfuz Roslan (6,594 votes) in the May 9 general election.

BN is staying away from the by-election, while PAS is fielding armed forces veteran Lt-Col (Rtd) Mohd Nazari Mokhtar, seen as Anwar’s closest rival in the by-election.

Besides Saiful, at least five others, including former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Isa Samad, have expressed their intention to stand as independent candidates.