From the poll on this blog, about 85 per cent of you believe Anwar will win in Permatang Pauh by a much bigger majority compared with Wan Azizah’s winning margin of 13,388 in the March general election.
The PKR, for its part, has set a target of 20,000, which is certainly possible, barring any dirty tactics. After all, Anwar won here with a 23,000-plus majority in 1995, when he was standing under a BN ticket, over opponets from Pas and DAP.
But this time, he will face the entire weight of the BN election machinery – the 3 Ms plus perhaps more potshots from the double M (Mahathir Mohamad).
What happens if Anwar is arrested before the by-election? Will his majority be even larger?
The even bigger questions lie beyond that. Will a PKR win be enough to lure defections ahead of 16 Sept? And at what price to principles and ideals? Perhaps the hope for a new Malaysia founded on justice and freedom would make it all worth while. What do you think?
Here’s something I wrote yesterday for Asia Times.
Sex and politics in Malaysia
By Anil Netto
PENANG – Opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim upped the ante of his campaign to topple the United Malays Nasional Organization (UMNO)-led government through plans to run in a by-election expected to be held later this month and formally re-enter politics. But with new criminal sodomy charges hanging over his head, it is unclear that Anwar, previously jailed on similar charges, will remain a free man long enough to contest in person the bellwether poll. Click here for full article.