BUKIT MERTAJAM, April 26 – It is up to the Election Commission (EC) to decide if Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim can vote in the Permatang Pauh by-election, says Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. “Maybe, SPR (EC) will look into clauses where an inmate could be given an opportunity to vote…but as far as I know, (an) inmate has no right to vote.
If there is (a) clause to permit (an) inmate to vote, I’m sure SPR will provide the ballot paper to be sent to (the) Sungai Buloh (Prison) for the person to vote,” he said. Ahmad Zahid was speaking to reporters when asked to comment on a statement by PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar that allowance be given to her father to vote.
Meanwhile, Nurul Izzah said her request was in line with Ahmad Zahid’s comments in July 2013 that his ministry would study the appropriate mechanism to allow prisoners to vote in the coming election.
“I welcome the suggestion by the home minister and suggest that the Permatang Pauh by-election be made the pioneer benchmark project by allowing Anwar, whom we insist is a political detainee, to vote on May 7,” she said in a separate media conference.
The Permatang Pauh by-election sees a four-cornered fight involving Barisan Nasional’s Suhaimi Sabudin, PKR’s Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Independent candidate Salleh Isahak and Azman Shah Othman from Parti Rakyat Malaysia.