SEREMBAN: Declaring himself “all for Anwar”, Rembau PKR leader R Tanggam has put aside earlier opposition to Dr Streram Sinnasamy as Pakatan Harapan’s candidate in the Rantau by-election.
Speaking to FMT, Tanggam said that he maintained no ill-feelings towards Streram, who also said he was letting bygones be bygones.
Tanggam said: “For me, it’s more about what is needed for the party. Every party (member) has got their views but this is a decision from the party president.
“I am all for Anwar and the party. It’s been like that since 1998 until now and I will do it for Anwar. I am not here for others.”
He said he would help Streram to win in Rantau, saying his main focus now was to “help Anwar first, and the party second”.
Last year, during a tussle to be chosen as the candidate for the seat, Tanggam and Streram had exchanged words about each other.
Tanggam said Streram, who is from Klang, would jeopardise the party’s chances because he was not a local. He supported a woman being fielded in the Rantau state seat, and the branch unanimously nominated him and his wife, K Bathmavathi, who heads the Wanita wing, alongside Streram, the deputy chairman.
Streram was named as Pakatan Harapan candidate by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim after winning a court battle to force a by-election.
Streram was disqualified in Rantau at the 2018 general election, and Mohamad Hassan of Umno, the former menteri besar, declared the winner uncontested. Streram challenged the decision in court and won, causing a by-election. Polling will be held on April 13.
Tanggam said Rantau would be a tough battle, given the popularity of Mohamad Hasan among the Malays and non-Malays. The opposition would also play up Malay sentiments, he said.
However, Pakatan Harapan “have got Mahathir, (Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad), Azmin Ali and Anwar to bring out the Malay vote,” he said, adding others in the coalition must help to get the Indian and Chinese voters as well.
In the by-election, Streram and Mohamad Hasan are being challenged by two independents. Polling is on April 13.