By Zuraida Abdul Rahman
BUKIT MERTAJAM, Aug 6 (Bernama) — Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)’s victory in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in the 1999 general election was said to be buoyed by sympathy votes over the expulsion of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from Umno and the government a year earlier.
Voters’ confusion and the sympathy factor enabled his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail who headed the then Parti Keadilan Nasional (now PKR) to win the seat by beating Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad of Barisan Nasional (BN) by a 9,077-vote majority.
In the 2004 general election, BN was returned to power by a landslide majority, defeating all Keadilan’s candidates except for Wan Azizah who retained Permatang Pauh.
Sympathy votes were again cited as the reason for her victory as Anwar was then serving a six-year jail sentence on four counts of corruption. However, her majority dropped to 590 votes.
In the March 8 general election, Wan Azizah defended her seat with 13,398 votes’ majority.
She polled 30,348 votes to beat Datuk Pirdaus Ismail of BN.
Four months later, she vacated her seat to make way for Anwar to contest in a by-election, for which nomination was fixed for Aug 16 and polling for Aug 26.
Again, the sympathy factor looms large as Anwar is facing another sodomy allegation, for what is said to be a repeat of the scenario in 1999. […]
Note from freeanwar.org: Bernama is clearly the mouthpiece of the Malaysian government since in the above article the reporter clearly inserts her own bias.