SEREMBAN: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has welcomed the decision by former Negri Sembilan mentri besar Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad to contest the Oct 13 Port Dickson by-election as an independent, saying he has every right to do so.
Anwar, who is contesting on the Pakatan Harapan ticket, said anyone was free to offer himself as a candidate in a democratic system.
"That is his right (to contest). I really don't have much to say.
"Under a democratic system, the rakyat can decide what is best for them," he said when met at the premier of Indian Tamil-language crime movie Chekka Chivantha Vaanam here on Thursday (Sept 27).
However, Anwar expressed hope that all aspirants would follow the relevant rules and regulations.
Anwar also reminded his allies in Pakatan not to use government machinery during the by-election.
Earlier on Thursday (Sept 27), Isa, who was state mentri besar for 22 years, announced his decision to contest.
The former Umno vice-president said he decided to contest as he was a "PD boy".
"I decided to stand as an independent because the seat is vacant. The other reason is that Umno has decided against contesting," he said.
Isa had previously served as Linggi assemblyman for five terms. He also won the Bagan Pinang state seat in a by-election in 2009.
Both seats are in the Port Dickson parliamentary constituency.
Isa, who is the former Jempol MP and former Teluk Kemang Umno chief, said he stood a good chance of winning as he had served the people there for a long time.
Apart from Anwar and Isa, Parti Rakyat Malaysia and PAS have also announced their decision to contest. Joining them is another independent, Stevie Chan.
Barisan Nasional is staying out of the by-election.
The Port Dickson seat became vacant after incumbent MP Danyal Balagobal Abdullah quit his seat on Sept 12 to make way for PKR president-elect Anwar to contest and pave the way for his return to Parliament.
Nomination day is set for Sept 29.