Second shot at the seat for Streram.
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has announced anaesthetist Dr S Streram as Pakatan Harapan’s candidate for the Rantau by-election on April 13.
Anwar said the decision was reached by the recent Pakatan presidential council.
“We have discussed this in the presidential council chaired by Prime Minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad),” he said at the PKR headquarters in Merchant Square on Monday (March 11).
“The decision was reached after taking into consideration Dr Streram’s academic qualifications, work record in the party and the fact that he was denied the chance to contest in the 14th general election,” he added.
Anwar, who is also Port Dickson MP, said that though there has recently been much rhetoric on the Malay-Muslim agenda, the coalition wanted to show that it represents the interests of all Malaysians.
“I asserted that we must remain consistent to present our case and our position as a party and coalition that represent all Malaysians.
“It’s better that we present our case to Malaysians so that we will not allow our struggle to be derailed or hijacked by racists or those with other agenda,” he said.
Anwar said there were suggestions that Pakatan field a Malay candidate, following pressure due to the Umno-PAS cooperation.
He said PKR and PH do not feel the need to react to the provocation by Umno and PAS.
“But we want to stress that we will not forsake Malays, and our candidate has to take care of everyone’s interests.
“Another issue for Rantau is related to the last elections, where we moved the Jeram Padang candidate to Rantau because the seat has 27% Indian voters.”
He said other seats in Negri Sembilan have been contested by Malays, including Port Dickson, which used to be an Indian seat.
“As such, we want to maintain our principle of looking out for all races, and we decided to maintain an Indian candidate for Rantau.”
Rantau has 20,926 voters, comprising 54% Malays, Chinese (19%) and Indians (27%).
Anwar acknowledged that although it would be difficult to contest against Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan, the party will try its best to prepare for the by-election.
The Election Commission announced that nomination for the Rantau polls will be on March 30 while early voting is fixed for April 9.
In GE14, Mohamad won the Rantau seat unopposed.
The by-election was triggered following the Federal Court decision to uphold an earlier ruling by an Election Court to nullify the results of the polls.
Election Court judge Azimah Omar allowed an election petition filed by Dr Streram, who was denied entry to submit his nomination form as he did not have a tag or pass.
Earlier report: Feb 18, Court Rules in Favour of PKR Candidate, By-Election for Rantau