Saifuddin speaks to reporters after conducting checks on the Sales and Services Tax (SST) implementation in Alor Setar. — Bernama photo

ALOR SETAR: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has confirmed that the announcement on the parliamentary seat to be contested by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will only be made after his return from Hong Kong tomorrow.

He said Anwar had contacted him Sunday before departing for Hong Kong to give instructions to ‘get ready’ potential seats that would be contested by the party president-elect in the near future. “There are originally three (potential) seats, but until yesterday (Sunday) these were zoomed in to two, yesterday (Sunday) he had contacted me to give me an overview and I have several tasks to be completed.

“Maybe while in Hong Kong, he will made a decision on one of these seats,” Saifuddin told reporters after conducting checks on the Sales and Services Tax (SST) implementation here  in his capacity as the  Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister.

He said the seat to be chosen by Anwar would be the safest seat based on a study and taking into account the results of the last general election.

“We have taken into account all (aspects), including the last general election outcome, percentage of voters’ turnout, current political issues and issues being harped by the opposition as long as the opposition have not set aside their politicking based on race, religion and racial animosity.”

Saifuddin also confirmed that the seat to be contested by Anwar would not be from the northern states of the peninsula as reported by local newspapers, which he described as speculative.

He called on the public not to easily fall prey to news and gossips being spread and stressed that any announcements must come from the secretary-general as the most authoritative and legitimate source of a party.

Commenting on the statement by PKR Women chief Zuraida Kamaruddin that there had been no discussion at the top level on the choice of seat for Anwar, Saifuddin said Anwar himself had announced he would make a comeback to Parliament in October.

“That’s her (Zuraida) way of responding to the media. Anwar himself has mentioned on the matter, for example if the prime minister had announced something, then suddenly someone said it is not discussed yet in the cabinet…that is called confusing,” he said.

He said it would also not be an issue if Anwar and his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as well as their daughter, Nurul Izzah Anwar are in Parliament because they were elected by the people to be their representatives through the democratic process.

Commenting on the statement by PKR deputy presidential candidate Rafizi Ramli who claimed that Datuk Seri Azmin Ali had met with Anwar in
Turkey to ask him not to contest the post of president, Saifudin said it would be better to let party members assess the matter for themselves.

He said the triennial party election this time was of public interest as it was being held after the Pakatan Harapan (PH) succeeded in forming the government for the first time and PKR’s standing as the largest party in PH.

“People are worried to see Rafizi challenging Azmin, but for us PKR members, we see it as a normal process only, because in PKR there will be victory and defeat within the PKR family and we consider it as an opportunity to choose from among the best,” he said. — Bernama