7 candidates, including Anwar, to slug it out in Port Dickson

PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim at the nomination centre in Port Dickson. (Bernama pic)

PORT DICKSON: A total of seven candidates submitted their nomination papers today for the Port Dickson by-election.

Independent candidates Lau Seck Yan and Stevie Chan Keng Leong and PAS’ Mohd Nazari Mokhtar were among the first to arrive at the nomination centre at the Port Dickson Municipal Council (MPPD).

They were followed by former Umno leader Isa Samad.

PKR president-elect and former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim arrived with his supporters at 8.35am. Among those who accompied him were party secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, vice-president Xavier Jayakumar, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Amanah information chief Khalid Samad.

Anwar’s former political aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari arrived shortly after that, followed by independent candidate Kan Chee Yuen.

“I am contesting as part of a democratic process. I am old enough, and in the past 10 years, I have gained enough experience.

“Before this, I wasn’t a politician, but after 10 years, I feel that I need to be part of the political arena,” Saiful said.

When asked if he was paid to contest, Saiful said he was contesting on his own accord, with no funds or sponsors.

“I really want to contest. Not because of old scores, not vengeance, and not to take revenge.

“This is purely me entering the democratic process,” he said.

Lau, meanwhile, said she wanted to contest as she was unhappy that the government had been introducing policies without consulting the people.

“I see that this as an opportunity to stand up and say something.

“I will ask the people what they want me to do. I made the decision to contest not for myself, but for the people,” she said.

As for Chan, he expressed shock at the number of candidates.

“I didn’t expect this at all. But, it is out of my control, I consider them distractions,” he said.

The by-election was called after Port Dickson MP Danyal Balagopal Abdullah stepped down to allow Anwar, who is also PKR’s president-elect, to contest the seat in his bid to return to Parliament.

This is the fourth by-election since the 14th general election.

Three by-elections recently concluded were in Sungai Kandis, Seri Setia and Balakong state seats, which are all in Selangor.