PKR unveils GE15 candidates: Nik Omar to run in Perak
Spina bifida patient rights advocate Dr Noraishah Mydin Abd Aziz to be placed in Kuala Lumpur
PETALING JAYA – Nik Omar Nik Abdul Aziz, son of former Kelantan menteri besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, will represent PKR in Perak in the 15th general election (GE15). The announcement was made by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in a press conference today, revealing seven candidates comprising figures from various backgrounds who will be contesting under the party’s ticket.
Anwar, however, stopped short of disclosing which seats these individuals will be contesting in, saying an official announcement for all PKR candidates will be made on Friday night. Nik Omar had previously contested the Chempaka state seat in Kelantan in the 2018 general election when he was an Amanah member.
However, he lost the three-cornered fight to PAS’ Ahmad Fathan Mahmood, who won Chempaka with 10,549 votes, and Barisan Nasional’s Mohd Fareez Nor Amran (7,075 votes).
When asked to clarify if he is now officially with PKR and no longer with Amanah, Anwar said: “We have raised this with Amanah. The issue doesn’t arise because we are contesting for Pakatan Harapan (PH).”
Other than Nik Omar, Anwar announced that former senior civil servant Datuk Zainal Azman Abu Seman will also be vying in Perak.
Zainal had, among others, served as deputy director-general at the Public Service Department, Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry secretary-general, and Perak state secretary.
Other high-profile names include former Malaysian Youth Council president Jufitri Joha, who will contest in Negri Sembilan, and activist for spina bifida patients Dr Noraishah Mydin Abdul Aziz, who herself has suffered from the disease since young.
Dr Noraishah will be fielded in Kuala Lumpur.
The other candidates announced today are academician Datuk Hassan Basri Awang Mat Dahan (Pahang), former Lembaga Zakat Selangor chief executive officer Saipolyazan Yusop (Selangor), and postgraduate and PhD student Fathin Amelina Fazlie (Perlis).
Tensions temporarily erupted in today’s press conference when an unknown member of the public interrupted PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli, who was responding to a question from the press on whether he believes it is a gamble to place relatively unknown non-party leaders as candidates.
Rafizi had said this is not the case and that it is the only logical thing to do, when an unidentified man shouted from the back of the room: “This was tried last time as an experiment. All these government servants should go into research, not into politics.”
In response, Rafizi said it has been proven that in the past couple of years, public cynicism towards politicians and political parties will be the main determinant in the outcome of an election.
“More voters feel they no longer rely exclusively on political parties, but will also put weightage on the ability and freshness of candidates.
“Call it a gamble or not, time will tell. But what PKR has decided is to take heed of the voters’ vision to see not just fresh faces, but more professionals and less full-time politicians taking active roles in politics.”
Anwar also commented on the issue, saying PKR has never been a normal political party, but rather a people’s movement.
In that sense, he said election candidates should not be monopolised and comprise entirely party leaders, and that there should be space for others to participate.
“No one should question that we are here to present the best minds to affect change and lead the nation. If it means (they comprise) party leaders, then yes. If others, so be it. It is for the future of the nation.
“Anyway, we have 222 Parliament seats. There are dozens of others available. It is unreasonable to question us presenting a number of special figures in terms of ideas and commitment as candidates.”
– The Vibes, October 26, 2022