BUKIT MERTAJAM, April 24 – About 400 media representatives from within and outside the country are covering the Permatang Pauh Parliamentary by-election scheduled for May 7. The figure was based on the number of media representatives who had registered with the Information Department so far, said Information Department director-general Datuk Ibrahim Abdul Rahman.
“The number is among the highest to have been involved in covering by-elections and we expect the number to rise further,” he said when met after officiating the Media Centre of the Communications and Multimedia Ministry, here Friday. The media centre, located at the Seberang Jaya Community College, here, is equipped with internet and computer facilities as well as the staff who would assist the media in getting additional information.
Ibrahim said all media personnel and government agency staff could use the media centre which began operations on April 23. Meanwhile, he said the Information Department deployed 120 staff throughout the Permatang Pauh Parliamentary by-election with five employees assigned to each voting district.
The Permatang Pauh Parliamentary seat fell vacant after the incumbent, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim lost his eligibility as an elected representative when the Pardons Board rejected his petition for a royal pardon filed by Anwar through his family members. Anwar is serving a five-year jail sentence for sodomising his former personal assistant, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. The Election Commission has fixed May 7 for polling day for the by-election.