Anwar confirms Pakatan fielding two ex-Umno reps in Melaka

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Pakatan Harapan chairman and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (front, left) chats with former Sungai Udang state assemblyman Datuk Idris Haron (right) at the Save Melaka Program, October 18, 2021. — Bernama pic
Pakatan Harapan chairman and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (front, left) chats with former Sungai Udang state assemblyman Datuk Idris Haron (right) at the Save Melaka Program, October 18, 2021. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 — Pakatan Harapan will field two ex-Umno members — including a former chief minister — as candidates in the Melaka state election, with the two running in state seats allocated to PKR and Amanah, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced today.

Anwar, who is both PH chairman and PKR president, said the two were Datuk Seri Idris Haron and Datuk Nor Azman Hassan.

“Datuk Seri Idris and Nor Azman will both contest under Pakatan Harapan, but the seat that was allocated is Keadilan’s seat, which means he is accepted as PKR.

“Nor Azman is contesting Amanah’s seat, but contesting under PH’s name,” he said during a virtual press conference to announce the list of PH candidates in Amanah and PKR seats.

Later, when asked to clarify if both Idris and Nor Azman have joined PKR and Amanah respectively as party members or if they were merely being fielded in those seats, Anwar confirmed that they were now party members.

“As far as we are concerned, they have joined, because that has been the understanding, that is the seat of the various parties they have joined. The important thing now is to make sure they do represent PH,” he said.

Idris, who is the immediate former Melaka chief minister and Sungai Udang assemblyman, will be contesting in the Asahan state seat.

In an official list of candidates PKR made available to the media, the 55-year-old Idris was also listed as a PKR member.

As for Nor Azman, he will be defending his Pantai Kundor state seat, which is under Amanah.

On October 4, both Idris and Nor Azman had, along with two other state assemblymen, declared their withdrawal of support for the Umno-led Melaka state government, which then triggered the upcoming Melaka state elections. This then led to Umno on that same day declaring that both Idris and Nor Azman had been stripped of their membership in Umno.

Anwar today insisted that there is no issue of party-hopping as he alluded to his explanation yesterday that those who are former state assemblymen — following the Melaka legislative assembly’s dissolution — are not changing political allegiance while still holding elected positions as state assemblymen.

Anwar also said the absence of the youth-based party Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) representatives among the full list of PH’s 28 candidates was due to technical problems, but Muda has since said it was sitting out the Melaka elections and did not want to support PH’s Melaka campaign due to the latter’s acceptance of “political frogs”.

Anwar today only read out the list of candidates for the 11 seats assigned to PKR and nine seats assigned to Amanah, as DAP had yesterday separately announced its list of eight candidates.

Amanah’s list features four old faces including Nor Azman, and five new faces.

Who will be PH’s Melaka CM candidate choice?

When asked who would be PH’s candidate as Melaka chief minister if the coalition wins the election, Anwar only said that Melaka PH chairman and former CM Adly Zahari would be leading the coalition’s charge for the state election.

“Our decision is to announce that Adly is leading the force for the elections, we have not officially announced as a majlis (council). But I think that is the general thinking now.

“But I think this will go on probably in the next few days if necessary. But to lead the charge other than the national leaders will be Adly,” he said.

Adly, who is also Amanah vice-president and Melaka Amanah chairman, will be defending his Bukit Katil state seat in this state elections.

When asked further if PH had yet to decide on its candidate for the Melaka chief minister position if it were to win or if it was not announcing its choice yet, Anwar merely replied: “The understanding was to get everything in order, then that is part of the strategy, will charge at the right time.”

Unity in PH for stability

Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, who was also present at the virtual press conference, stressed today that PH is contesting as a team, which he said meant that the component parties Amanah, PKR and DAP should not only focus on having candidates from their own parties win and be indifferent to whether candidates from other components win or lose.

He pointed out that unity within PH was important as it needs all its candidates to win in order to form the Melaka state government, saying that all component parties in PH should view each candidate as “PH’s candidate”.

“We have to make all win, then only we can get the strength and we can build the state of Melaka to be greater in the future,” Mohamad said, adding that all component parties’ workers in a constituency should help a candidate who is from another component party win.

Similarly, Anwar spoke about DAP, Amanah and PKR working together, saying that he was thankful that they were all contesting as “one team”.

“And this strength that is quite reasonable to convince the people that if they want political stability, it is only in and can only be given by PH,” he said, while stressing however that such political stability is not to allow corruption and abuse of power but to allow for good governance such as during Adly’s time as Melaka chief minister.

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