GEORGE TOWN: The growing call for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest PKR’s presidential post is nothing new as the party had wanted to put Anwar as the president back in 2007, says PKR Youth deputy chief Dr Afif Bahardin.
“We were unable to do that due to the Registrar of Societies’ restriction. PKR was founded and formed because of reformasi movement inspired by what happened to Anwar. And now ‘is the right time’ to put him in his rightful place as the leader of reformasi movement and ‘catalyst for change in Malaysia’.
“There is a lot of support and talk within the party, including grassroots, who would like Anwar to lead the party as president.
“I am not the only one who has been talking about it. Hang Tuah Jaya MP Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin has spoken about it and now, more quarters within the party have come out in support.
“We have to prepare him for the eventuality so that when he takes over as the PM, he would be ready,” he said in an interview at Komtar yesterday.
Dr Afif pointed out the importance of Anwar to come back to Parliament as an MP through a process where one MP would step aside for him to contest in a by-election.
“We have done that before – during the ‘Kajang Move’.
“With Anwar in Dewan Rakyat, he can prepare to be the designated Prime Minister after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and also be a backbencher to provide check and balance to the Government,” he said.
Meanwhile, Penang PKR deputy chief Datuk Law Choo Kiang said they would call for a meeting to discuss the matter although no date had been set yet.
“There is no decision yet as we have never discussed it,” he said, adding Anwar and his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail were both capable leaders.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Sim Tze Tzin, who is Bayan Baru MP, said both candidates would serve the capacity well as both are symbols of reform.
“It does not matter Anwar or Wan Azizah, they will not contest each other as Kak Wan has clearly stated,” he said.
The PKR party election will be held at the end of August, with nominations set for July 29.