Nurul Izzah to head Pakatan campaign machinery in PD, tasked with addressing low voter turnout

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's daughter, Nurul Izzah, will be heading Pakatan Harapan's election machinery in the upcoming Port Dickson by-election in Negri Sembilan, said PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution.

"We consider Port Dickson as one of the safest seats. Next is to assemble the best brains among PKR with cooperation from our coalition partners to form a formidable election machinery.

"This election machinery will be headed by Nurul, as a director for this polls," he said to reporters during a press conference at PKR's headquarters in Merchant Square on Wednesday (Sept 12). Nurul is the party vice-president.

At the same time, Saifuddin said that the issue of nepotism does not arise with Anwar's family members, namely Nurul and Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is his wife, being in Parliament.

"They (Dr Wan Azizah and Nurul Izzah) were elected through the democratic process and the voters. Anwar did not elect them," he added.

This will perhaps be the first of such cooperation in Malaysians politics, where it involved a father-daughter combination in campaigning.

Anwar will be standing for the Port Dickson seat after the present PKR MP, Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah, announced his intention to quit earlier on Wednesday (Sept 12)

PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli, who was present during the press conference, said Nurul, the Permatang Pauh MP, would be tasked with ensuring a decent voter turnout rate, considering that the recently concluded Balakong and Seri Setia polls were plagued with low voter turnout, resulting in a reduced majority for Pakatan.

In acknowledging political fatigue as among the factors for the low voter turnout, Rafizi said Pakatan is looking to address this issue in the coming by-election, which will be the fourth held since Pakatan took over Putrajaya four months ago.

"It is understandable if we have a problem with voter turnout. Therefore, Nurul will have to pay attention to that. It is a challenge for us," he added.

The voter turnout for Balakong, Seri Setia and Sungai Kandis by-elections were the lowest held in the past nine years.

According to the Election Commission, Balakong had a voter turnout of 43% while Seri Setia only had 44% in the by-election that took place on Sept 8.

The Sungai Kandis polls in August only saw a voter turnout rate of 49.8%.

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