PETALING JAYA (July 23, 2008) : By Giam Say Khoon
Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today he had been ready to contest a by-election in Kulim-Bandar Baru had the court announced the verdict of an election petition against MP Zulkifli Nordin last Monday.
"Zulkifli had told me that he was prepared to give consent and get the thing cleared that (if) last Monday, the court ruled that the election was null and void, there would be a by-election.
"Probably because of the rumour, the court postponed the case to Aug 16," said Anwar who revealed that he initially decided to contest in the by-election three weeks ago.
Zulkifli faced a petition filed by Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Abdul Aziz Sheikh Fadzir that he failed to submit his expenditure statement when he contested for the Kuala Langat parliamentary seat in 2004.
"Notwithstanding that, I am now in a discussion with the DAP, PAS and Keadilan leaders on the posibility of an imminent by-election," he told a press conference after welcoming former Umno division leader Datuk Fauzi Abdul Rahman to the party today.
On the Pakatan Rakyat's (PR) Sept 16 deadline to take over the government, Anwar said the plan, which aimed "not to topple the government but to ensure that the people win" is still on track.
On the talks between PAS and Umno, Anwar said PAS had given an assurance it will not leave PR.
"PAS's commitment to the five PR-led states remains strong," he added.
Asked why he did not want to take an oath on the Qur'an on a sodomy case against him, Anwar said the burden of proof is with the accuser.
He said under syariah law, an accuser who is unable to produce evidence will be punished.
"If you go for oath-taking now, you actually absorb all procedures of the court and the punishment in this world, then you leave it to God (to judge)," he said.
Oath-taking, he said, was only suitable for settling marital problems.