Don’t go overboard, Anwar tells Bersih, EC after eyebrows raised over concert

Anwar Ibrahim at the PD Waterfront concert on Saturday. The PKR president-elect has been accused of leveraging on government machinery in his campaign for the Port Dickson by-election. (Bernama pic)

PORT DICKSON: PKR’s Port Dickson candidate Anwar Ibrahim last night told the Election Commission (EC) and Bersih 2.0 not to go overboard after the electoral watchdog claimed it was against regulations for him to attend a concert on Saturday.

“We (do things) according to the law and rules. We respect Bersih and the EC.

“Because of that, they should not abuse their power. Don’t be too much,” he said in his address during a dinner at the Regent Hall in the Lukut state constituency.

Anwar, who is also PKR president-elect, had showed up at the concert despite receiving advice against this from Bersih. He was also criticised by several quarters who said this was against the EC’s regulations.

Bersih subsequently urged the EC to look into Anwar’s actions.

The concert which drew about 2,000 people was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

It was organised by Pertubuhan Khidmat Kebajikan Masyarakat Madani, the Anwar Ibrahim Club and Muafakat Anak Muda.

Held at the PD Waterfront, it featured top local artistes such as M Nasir (Mohamad Nasir Mohamed) and Awie (Ahmad Azhar Othman).

Anwar also defended himself from those who accused him of leveraging on government machinery after he was driven in Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu’s car.

“I wanted to talk to Mat Sabu but didn’t have time,” he said. “He was leaving so I took a ride in his car.

“When I rode in his car, (people said) cannot, it’s wrong (to do so). But he can’t ride in my car either due to military protocol.

“I just rode in his car from one place to another, (but) they said this is wrong. This cannot be,” he said.

He said he was willing to respect the principles of a clean and fair election, reminding guests at the dinner that the food they were eating was not paid for by him.

“I am the candidate. I was invited here, but I didn’t pay for the food. Please understand this,” he said.

This follows a report by Bersih stating that Pakatan Harapan (PH) had committed the most number of offences during the recent by-elections in Seri Setia and Balakong.

The Port Dickson by-election is the fourth since the general election on May 9. Aside from Seri Setia and Balakong, a by-election was also held in Sungai Kandis.

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 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 on Oct 13 will see a seven-way fight between Anwar, PAS’ Mohd Nazari Mokhtar and four independent candidates – former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Isa Samad, social media personalities Stevie Chan and Kan Chee Yuen, local educator Lau Seck Yan, and Anwar’s former personal assistant, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.