GEORGE TOWN (Aug 14, 2008)
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who is also DAP secretary general, today acknowledged Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah's strong popularity in the Permatang Pauh constituency, and asked Pakatan Rakyat to rise to the challenge.
He however said the Barisan Nasional had broken its tradition by placing an elected representative -- Arif Shah is also Seberang Jaya assemblyman -- to be a candidate for the parliamentary seat.
"This shows that BN feels he is the most suitable and strongest candidate to go up against Anwar," he said.
"However, the voters must remember. If Arif Shah were to lose in the by-election, he will still be able to serve the people as he is the Seberang Jaya assemblyman."
Lim added that Arif Shah may be a good leader but his party (Umno) has problems.
"The people must opt to 'choose one and get one free' by voting for Anwar because he will represent Permatang Pauh and also have the opportunity to lead the country as the Prime Minister," he said.
Lim said Arif Shah may be popular in the constituency but Anwar is popular nationally and internationally.
"BN has chosen the most popular candidate for this by-election and we will need to work hard to secure a victory."