PUBLISHED: JANUARY 30, 2015 12:13 PM
If Anwar fails to reverse the Court of Appeal’s five-year imprisonment sentence and conviction, the 67-year-old would lose his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat. — file picture
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has expressed confidence that the fledgling Pakatan Rakyat (PR) opposition pact will hold strong if he goes to jail for sodomy, despite tense ties between DAP and PAS.
Anwar pointed out to DAP organ The Rocket in an interview published today, ahead of the Federal Court verdict on February 10 in his second sodomy case, that he was already in prison when the loose coalition of PKR, PAS and the DAP was formed.
“So this isn’t something new,” Anwar was quoted saying.
“Some say my entry to jail may even fortify and strengthen Pakatan, because there will be a rallying point. So I always view it in the positive,” the PKR and PR de facto leader added.
In the watershed Election 2008, PKR, DAP and PAS had agreed to cooperate and not to contest against each other, resulting in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) losing its customary two-thirds majority in Parliament and the subsequent creation of the PR alliance that gained more ground in Election 2013.
However, Anwar’s comments today come even as the DAP and PAS are embroiled in a public spat over the former’s push to restore local council elections, an attempt which PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang claims will lead to a repeat of the May 13, 1969 race riots.
DAP assistant national publicity secretary Zairil Khir Johari even told PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali today to sue his DAP counterpart Lim Guan Eng or resolve the disagreement over local government polls privately.
On Wednesday, Mustafa challenged Lim, who is also Penang chief minister, to an open debate on hudud and local government elections ― two issues that have brought the two parties to loggerheads on numerous occasions.
The Rocket reported today that Anwar had tried to convince DAP leaders at the party’s national leadership retreat that PAS would stick to PR.
“We (see it) as our duty to save the nation. Is Pakatan strong enough to do that? Yes we have to (be). We are gaining, and that’s why I think it is important to maintain the cordial relationship between the parties,” Anwar was quoted saying.
The High Court had, in 2012, acquitted Anwar of allegedly sodomising his former political aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in an upscale Bukit Damansara condominium on June 26, 2008.
But the decision was later overturned by the Court of Appeal and the opposition leader was subsequently sentenced to a five-year jail term.
If Anwar fails to reverse the Court of Appeal’s five-year imprisonment sentence and conviction, the 67-year-old would lose his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat as the law bars anyone fined RM2,000 or imprisoned for more than one year from serving as a lawmaker.
- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/anwar-pakatan-can-stand-without-me#sthash.VvUKVyB7.dpuf