A Kadir Jasin

See also: Permatang Pauh, Anwar dan Umno
and here: Umno tercari-cari calon lawan Anwar

Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s decision to resign as the Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh to give way to her husband, Anwar Ibrahim, had not come as a surprise.

It will also not surprise me that if, at some point of time in the future, she will re-contest elsewhere or hand over the leadership of Parti Keadilan Rakyat to him. But that’s not the priority now.

The immediately consideration has to be the resurrection of her husband as an elected representative after some 17 years of hiatus.

Soon after Dr Wan Azizah’s announcement, Anwar told a Press conference in Petaling Jaya that he would contest the Permatang Pauh by-election.

There are several very compelling reasons why Anwar has to take the plunge now and why in Permatang Pauh is the best place to do so.

The last thing first – why Permatang Pauh? For a start, it is Anwar’s first and only parliamentary constituency. He recaptured the seat from Pas at the age of 35 in 1982 as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's protege.

He can choose to contest in other PKR-held Parliamentary seats. A few days ago there were talks that the PKR MP for Kulim-Bandar Baru in Kedah, Zulkifli Nordin, would step down to allow him to contest the seat.

There were also rumours that he was contesting in the Bandar Tun Abdul Razak constituency in Kuala Lumpur now held by Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, the Selangor Menteri Besar.

But Permatang Pauh is the safest and most historically relevant. The Penang Malay-dominated constituency carries a significant psychological advantage for Anwar.

It was there in 1982 that he became a giant killer by defeating the incumbent Pas MP, Haji Zabidi Ali.

Wan Azizah held the seat since the 1999 general election and in the last March 8 polls easily defeated the BN with 13,388 votes majority.

There’s no safer place for Anwar to stage a parliamentary comeback than in Permatang Pauh. Given that the Barisan Nasional is almost certain to do all it can to thwart his comeback attempt, fighting in a familiar territory gives him an advantage.

Also, being a Penangite, it would not be correct for him to contest in other states especially when his larger objective is to topple the government led by another Penangite, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Incidentally too, Permatang Pauh lies next to Abdullah’s Kepala Batas constituency. So there’s a moral and psychological mileage to be gained by staging the comeback in Permatang Pauh.

As for the timing, it has to be now or never.

Anwar is not getting younger. This Aug. 10 he will be 61.

With a sodomy allegation hanging over his head and an arrest is said to be eminent, he has to move fast.

There’s no better time to strike at the BN than now. The ruling coalition is in disarray and its key component parties are facing leadership elections.

The Abdullah Government is at the heights of its unpopularity following the June oil price increases, mounting inflation and mediocre economic growth.

Anwar and his supporters are having some success in spinning the sensational sodomy allegation into an equally sensational conspiracy by his opponents.

Truth and fiction are so intertwined that the credibility and integrity of the parties involved in case are being widely questioned. Anwar is using this to his advantage by going on the offensive.

If Anwar is arrested and charged with sodomy, as being widely speculated, there will be enough voters Permatang Pauh who may conclude that he’s being victimised for challenging the government.

It is unlikely that the Court will or can hush up the trial to come up with a verdict within the 60-day period when the election has to be called, especially at the time when Abdullah and his de facto Law Minister, Senator Zaid Ibrahim, are promising an independent judiciary.

Dr Wan Azizah’s withdrawal is a good thing. It kills allegations that Anwar is seeking to build a political dynasty.

With that Anwar stands a better chance of turning the table on Abdullah, who is seen as favouring his son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, the MP for Rambau.

I am sure that Anwar will do the Red Adair by fighting fire with fire if the sodomy allegation or a court case is used by the BN to penalise.

He had started the ball rolling on July 1 by making police report against the Inspector General of Police, Musa Hassan and the Attorney General Abdul Ghani Patail for allegedly falsifying evidence in his 1998 “black eye” incident. On July 22, the IGP responded by suing him for defamation.

Anwar will certainly use these documents to question the impartiality of the IGP and the AG if he is arrested and charged with sodomy.

The BN, I suspect, will try to put up a strong face. It cannot be seen to be intimidated by challenge. But it may still pour party and government money to try to regain the seat and stop Anwar from making a comeback.

Given the current unfavourable public reaction towards the government, Umno and the BN may be reluctant to commit its big guns in the campaign. This will give Anwar a further advantage.

So, if there is any hope for Anwar to stage a comeback, now is the most appropriate time and Permating Pauh is the best place to do so.

Najib berusaha gagalkan Anwar ke Putrajaya?

BUKIT MERTAJAM, 3 Ogos (Hrkh) - "Sebenarnya persaingan Politik Malaysia pada hari ini adalah antara Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim dan Dato Seri' Najib Tun Razak, " demikian tegas Majlis Pimpinan Tertinggi Parti KeAdilan Rakyat (KeADILan), Badrul Hisham Shaharin dalam ceramahnya di Ceruk To' Kon, Bukit Mertajam kelmarin.

Beliau yang lebih dikenali sebagai Cikgu Bard mengatakan, dunia pada hari sedang memerhatikan dua tokoh tersebut kerana Anwar dan Najib masing-masing sedang berhadapan dengan cabaran dan dugaan besar.

Menurutnya, Anwar sedang berhadapan dengan cabaran usahanya membentuk kerajaan persekutuan menjelang 16 September nanti manakala Najib pula sedang berhadapan cabaran berkenaan penglibatannya dalam kes pembunuhan Altantuya yang semakin terbongkar.

Oleh itu tegas beliau, Najib terpaksa mencari jalan mengagalkan Anwar dari sampai ke Putrajaya untuk menjadi Perdana Menteri Malaysia.

Maka, sebab itulah tuduhan liwat yang membabitkan Anwar sengaja ditimbulkan bagi menghalang Anwar mendaki ke puncak kuasa,katanya.

"Pada 1998 Anwar difitnah dengan tuduhan liwat kerana beliau pada waktu itu sudah sedikit sahaja lagi akan menjadi Perdana Menteri Malaysia, kini 2008 situasinya sama di mana Anwar hari ini juga sedikit sahaja lagi akan menjadi Perdana Menteri, maka skrip lama berkenaan isu liwat itu diulang," katanya.

Tambahnya, tuduhan seperti Anwar agen Amerika Syarikat dicanang ke seluruh negara bagi memburukkan imejnya.

Badrul Hisham menjelaskan, bukan Amerika sahaja yang memberi perhatian pada Anwar tetapi seluruh dunia termasuk negara-negara Islam mengambil berat tentangnya.

"Semua taktik jahat ini dilakukan bagi memastikan kelangsungan politik Najib dan BN terus kekal dan selamat,"katanya lagi.

Badrul Hisham Shaharin menyampaikan ceramah tersebut sepena program 'Tour Merdeka Harapan Baru Anak Malaysia' yang berlangsung di Galeri Pejuang di Cherok To'Kun Bukit Mertajam.

Turut sama dalam program itu ialah Ahli Parlimen Padang Serai, Gobalakrisnan;, Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) Batu Uban, Raveentharan dan beberapa pemimpin Parti KeADILan Rakyat.