Former electoral watchdog Bersih chairperson Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan says that it is wrong to expect anyone but your family to give up the hard-won parliamentary seat for you.
"This matter must be thought through very carefully. On the one hand, there was a general understanding that one member of the family will be stepping aside for Anwar."
"The argument against that is that they have held the fort through difficult times and should not have to give up their seats. But then neither is it fair to ask anyone who has fought and won their seat to have do so either," says Ambiga.
PKR newly minted President and former de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is looking for a parliamentary seat to contest so that he can get back into the political game and be well on his way to replace Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
She was commenting on the fact that PKR newly minted President and former de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is looking for a parliamentary seat to contest so that he can get back into the political game and be well on his way to replace Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
It was agreed from the very beginning since these two friends-enemies-friends (frenemies?) when they formed the Pakatan Harapan, that when they won the government, Mahathir would rule first, straighten out everything, put together a proper government and then hand over the premiership to Anwar.
As a matter of fact, Anwar himself kept saying in his first few hours of freedom after he was pardoned by the King that he wants to take time off and let Mahathir rule and he is in no hurry for he wants to travel the world and feel the ground.
However, the new government is shy of a few days from its first 100 days and Anwar's supporters have reportedly already been going around asking who wants to vacate the parliamentary seat and make way for Anwar.
Anwar too, has announced it himself at the by election campaign in Sungai Kandis that someone will vacate their parliamentary seat for him.
His own wife, the Deputy Prime Minister Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and his daughter Nurul Izzah have announced that they will not vacate their Pandan and Permatang Pauh parliamentary seats for him.
As expected, all fifty PKR MPs when asked in public, they say they are willing should they be requested to by Anwar himself, but they all also add that they are not offering the seat.
Selayang MP William Leong Jee Keen said that no one will say "No" to Anwar should he ask them to step down, despite the fact that any MP abandoning their seat before the term will be slapped with a five year ban from contesting in any elections.
Ambiga points out that PKR in handling this delicate situation must be well aware of the perception of the electorate.
After all, politics is all about perception.
"Another factor they must take into account is the party’s stand against nepotism and they must guard against any hint of that."
"Of course, there are those who are prepared to fall on their sword and give up their seat for Anwar. However, as a matter of grace and propriety, no one should be put in that difficult position.
"Further, it is not for anyone to say they will give up the seat without regard to the voters. If it is a family member, voters may well be able to accept the trouble of going to the polls again."
"Expecting anyone to give up their seat is always a problematic situation which must be handled fairly and carefully," says Ambiga.
So, the question remains: Who is Anwar's seat-warmer and who will be the "chosen one" to leave the show?
2 / 3
Free articles leftSubscribe now