KAJANG: Pakatan Rakyat MPs will skip the Dewan Rakyat sitting today to show support to their candidate Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail during nomination for the by-election here.
Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Pakatan would boycott the sitting today as a protest against his “speedy sodomy conviction”.
“I urge all of you to join us in Pakatan on nomination day as a show of support for the Kajang move and our candidate,” he said at several ceramah over the weekend.
Anwar cannot contest in Kajang after the Court of Appeal overturned his acquittal on sodomy charges and sentenced him to five years’ jail, and Dr Wan Azizah – his wife and PKR president – is replacing him as candidate.
The Kajang by-election was earlier seen as a first step for Anwar to take over from Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as Selangor Mentri Besar.
PAS election director Dr Hatta Ramli said: “There is talk that PAS is not supportive of the Kajang move, but our machinery has been helping.”
However, the Opposition’s plan for a large turnout on nomination day has drawn flak from the Election Commission while Barisan Nasional MPs criticised the decision to boycott the Dewan Rakyat sitting.
Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said having too large a crowd could be inconvenient and could lead to untoward incidents.
Barisan MP for Tanjung Piai Datuk Wee Jeck Seng said: “They (MPs from the Opposition) are elected to represent the people in the Dewan Rakyat. Not being present on purpose means they are not honest in discharging their duty as elected representatives.”
Separately, PKR deputy election director Zuraidah Kamaruddin said Dr Wan Azizah would attract more women voters in Kajang based on her track record as former Permatang Pauh MP and opposition leader.
She said the party would push for a greater agenda for women.
“Based on our record, we had problems attracting women voters but this time, we are quite confident that we can draw 60% of them,” she added.