PORT DICKSON: It is Johari Sapiai’s fifth time voting for PKR, and he is rooting for the party’s by-election candidate Anwar Ibrahim.
“I have been a loyal supporter, and I have been following his case since he was sacked back when he was deputy prime minister.
“I definitely want him to win, he should win. I want him to be the prime minister,” he said when met at the polling centre in the Chuah state constituency.
On Sept 2, 1998, Anwar was sacked from his cabinet posts over alleged moral issues. He claimed the allegations against him were politically motivated and part of a conspiracy to kill his political career.
In 1999, he was sentenced to six years’ jail for abuse of power and also convicted of sodomising his driver Azizan Abu Bakar, and sentenced to nine years in jail, in trials that drew worldwide condemnation.
These incidents sparked the formation of PKR, headed by Anwar’s wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail who is now deputy prime minister.
Johari, 58, believes that Anwar was innocent, which is why he has pledged his support for the PKR president-elect.
“I used to work in a school here, as a gardener. But we had to move out after the Nipah virus hit town,” he said.
Johari stopped working two years ago, following the amputation of his leg due to his diabetic condition.
“Voting is not something new for me. I’m used to it,” he said.
Another voter Soo Leong Sheng, 28, said it is important for the constituents to come out and vote because they are voting for a future prime ministerial candidate
“It’s Anwar, why wouldn’t I come back to vote?” asked Soo.
According to Soo, his friends who are working in Kuala Lumpur are also returning to vote.
Meanwhile, in Bukit Pelandok, Ken Pun, 28, said all Malaysian citizens had a responsibility to vote, whether or not the election was “engineered”
“This is my primary school, I took this as an opportunity to come back to visit my school as well,” said Ken, of the voting centre.
Ken’s bother, Nicholas Pun, 29 had similarly moved to Kuala Lumpur in search of better job opportunities but returned to vote.
Both brothers, however, do not vote at the same polling station.
“My suspicion is that our areas were separated as part of the last delineation exercise. I’m not sure what happened,” said Ken.
Today, Port Dickson constituents will determine who will be their new MP when they cast their votes at polling centres in all five state constituencies – Chuah, Lukut, Bagan Pinang, Linggi and Sri Tanjung.
The Port Dickson by-election was called after its incumbent Danyal Balagopal Abdullah stepped down to make way for Anwar’s return to Parliament.