Anwar vows to make Parliament 'truly effective' if he wins Port Dickson by-election

Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim at a press conference at the Parti Keadilan Rakyat headquarters in Petaling Jaya, on Sept 21, 2018. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

PETALING JAYA - Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim vowed to make the Parliament "truly effective" if he wins in the upcoming by-election in Port Dickson.

In a press conference held on Friday (Sept 21) at his Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) headquarters in Petaling Jaya, he said: "In my discussion with (Prime Minister) Tun Mahathir, I have said that I will give my full and solid support to him as the prime minister to manage the country and I have discussed to ask that I get a space to help to make the Parliament truly effective as a vehicle in the democratic system."

"In that way, I hope we can firm the collaboration with Tun Mahathir and friends to strengthen the government machinery and fulfil the trust that has been given," he added.

Malaysia's Election Commission (EC) on Thursday announced that the by-election for Port Dickson will be held on Oct 13. Nomination day is on Sept 29.

A total of 75,770 people are eligible to vote in the constituency.

Mr Anwar, who was released in May following a royal pardon for a sodomy conviction he maintains was politically motivated, is now set to take over from Dr Mahathir in about two years.

The 71-year-old maintained that his candidacy and participation was in line with the decision of the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition..

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He said he has "excellent" relations with Dr Mahathir, and strikes down any attempts to "sow discord" between them.

A peaceful and strong government under the leadership of his former enemy-turned-ally is crucial "so we can begin the process of change that is urgent".

He said: "It is critical, to me and to our party leaders, to give our full undivided support to Tun Mahathir to ensure that the transition is peaceful, and more critically, effective to ensure that the major reform agenda is being effected and implemented."

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Also present at the press conference were his wife, Deputy Prime Minister and PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali and PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli.

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