PAS confident EC will disqualify Anwar

PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan hopes the High Court will make a ruling on Anwar Ibrahim’s status before polling day.

PORT DICKSON: PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan today repeated his claim that Anwar Ibrahim is not eligible to contest in the Oct 13 by-election as the PKR president-elect was only granted a “full pardon” and not a “free pardon”.

As such, the Islamist party is hopeful the court would rule that the candidate with the second-most votes in the by-election should be the Port Dickson MP if Anwar was disqualified.

“If we get the second-highest votes, there is a possibility for us to be declared as the winner of the seat,” he said at the PAS’ Operations Centre in Bagan Pinang.

Takiyuddin drew a comparison to an incident in 1995 when Wee Choo Keong, who won the Bukit Bintang seat in Kuala Lumpur under the DAP banner, was disqualified due to a controversial court case.

He pointed out that the election petition was accepted by the Election Court which then declared the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Lee Chong Meng as the Bukit Bintang MP.

In the 1995 general election, MCA’s Lee had obtained the second highest number of votes.

Takiyuddin hoped that the Kuala Lumpur High Court would issue a ruling on Anwar’s status before Oct 13 following a challenge filed by a registered voter regarding the PKR leader’s status.

“I am confident that the court will disqualify Anwar. If the court doesn’t make a decision, we may file (an election) petition.

“So, we are hoping for that (to happen). This by-election is burdening the people and it’s wasting government expenditure,” he said.

It was reported on Sept 28 that Attorney-General Tommy Thomas had confirmed in a letter to lawyer Siti Kasim that Anwar is eligible to contest in the Port Dickson by-election following a “full pardon” granted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Takiyuddin, who is also the MP for Kota Bharu, Kelantan, said under Article 48 (1)(e) of the Federal Constitution, an individual is able to contest in an election only if he had been granted a “free pardon”.

Anwar was sentenced to a five-year jail term in February 2015 for sodomising his former aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who is also contesting as an independent candidate in the Port Dickson by-election.

“He did not get a free pardon and therefore, he is not qualified to stand in this by-election.

“And if he (Anwar) is disqualified after he wins in the coming polls, we may need to hold another by-election.

“Therefore we stand firm in urging the court to make a ruling as soon as possible to prevent this from happening,” said Takiyuddin.

Meanwhile, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, who was also present during the press conference, said that the Agong should not be dragged into the matter.

“The Agong should not have been dragged into this matter. It’s not the King’s job to determine whether Anwar is qualified or not.

“To those who made this decision (approved Anwar’s candidacy), it could undermine our legislative system,” he said.

The Port Dickson seat was vacated by its MP Danyal Balagopal Abdullah to pave the way for Anwar’s attempt to return to Parliament.

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

The Port Dickson by-election will see seven candidates – Anwar, PAS’ Mohd Nazari Mokhtar and five independent candidates – former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Mohd Isa Samad, social media personalities Stevie Chan and Kan Chee Yuen, Lau Seck Yan as well as Saiful.