Anwar’s by-election rival asks if he’s healthy enough to be PM

Independent candidate Lau Seck Yan.

PORT DICKSON: Independent candidate Lau Seck Yan has alleged that Malaysians risk having a sickly prime minister if PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim wins the Port Dickson by-election on Oct 13.

“When Anwar was in prison, he was always unwell,” she said in an interview with FMT.

“What if he falls sick again one day? Are we going to have a prime minister who will not be able to serve in his full capacity? If he isn’t fit enough, why doesn’t he just get some rest?”

Lau said she voted for Pakatan Harapan in the last general election and might have stayed out of the by-election if PKR had chosen a younger candidate.

“Anwar could have found someone he could groom and let that younger person be prime minister,” she said.

“Why must we take the risk of voting for a future prime minister who may fall sick in the next two years? Who is going to steer the country then?”

She also criticised Anwar’s record as education minister between 1986 and 1991, particularly his push for the oral use of Bahasa Baku, his term for phonetic Malay.

“He was the one who ordered teachers to speak Bahasa Baku,” she said. “But do you hear ministers and politicians themselves speak Malay in Bahasa Baku?”

She alleged that Anwar attempted to force the use of Bahasa Baku in broadcasting as well.

She also claimed that it was Anwar’s idea to encourage Muslim women to wear the headscarf.

Lau spoke of Anwar’s long absence from active politics and voiced doubt that he would be “able to keep up with the times”.

Addressing the question of voter attendance, she claimed that many constituents were not aware either of an impending by-election or of how the process works.

“I have visited two state constituencies in the last two days, and some of them thought only the people in Teluk Kemang and the Port Dickson town centre needed to come out to vote,” she said.

“There is a high possibility that people will not come out to vote, thinking that it does not concern them.”

Besides Anwar, Lau is contesting against PAS candidate Mohd Nazari Mokhtar and four independents – former Umno leader Isa Samad, Anwar’s former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari, Stevie Chan, Kan Chee Yuen.