Malaysian by-election contested by Anwar Ibrahim kicks off in Port Dickson

Malaysian by-election contested by Anwar Ibrahim kicks off in Port Dickson

Port Dickson by-election voting centre
Voters at a polling station in Port Dickson cast their ballots in the by-election on Oct 13, 2018. (Photo: Justin Ong)

PORT DICKSON, Negeri Sembilan: Local polls in the Malaysian town of Port Dickson opened on Oct 13 (Sat) morning with political heavyweight Anwar Ibrahim among the candidates vying for the vacant parliamentary seat.

There are 75,770 registered voters spread across five state constituencies in Port Dickson. More than 7,000 army and police personnel were eligible to vote early on Monday this week.

The choice in this by-election lies between Anwar of the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, Nazari Mokhtar of the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia and five independents: former minister Isa Samad; Twitter personality Stevie Chan; management consultant Kan Chee Yuen, educator Lau Seck Yan as well as Saiful Bukhari, whose sodomy accusations landed Anwar in jail in 2015.

As of noon, voter turnout stood at 34 per cent. 

READ: More than 7,000 early voters in Port Dickson by-election

READ: With ‘carefully curated’ public profile, Anwar looks to emerge unscathed from latest political gambit

Anwar's fellow Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) member had earlier resigned as Port Dickson lawmaker to pave the way for Anwar to re-enter parliament and eventually take over as prime minister - as promised by current premier Mahathir Mohamad.

The pair had set aside a long-standing feud to form the Pakatan Harapan alliance that made history when it ousted the previous Barisan Nasional government at the May general election.

Voter at Port Dickson by-election
A voter casting her ballot in the Port Dickson by-election on Oct 13, 2018. (Photo: Justin Ong)

READ: 'I love him as a father and a leader': Anwar, Mahathir in show of unity at by-election rally

READ: Anwar pledges to clean up beaches, redevelop abandoned hotels at Port Dickson

Anwar could not contest the national polls as he was still in prison then, but Mahathir - after being confirmed for a second stint as prime minister - helped secure his freedom through a royal pardon.

Five months on, Anwar is bidding to make his own political comeback via the seaside tourist destination of Port Dickson - and is widely expected to coast to victory.

Source: CNA/hm/rw