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KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — Out of the public eye and far away from the Permatang Pauh campaign, jailed PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has written a note to his supporters in the federal constituency, urging them to vote for his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail this May 7.
In the handwritten note dated yesterday, Anwar expressed his gratitude to supporters for keeping him in their prayers, and vowed to continue his struggle even behind bars.
He claimed that Malaysians are still being bullied by their political masters and are forced to suffer due to the spike in living costs after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was implemented from April 1.
"Once again, I seek your (voters) support in selecting Dr Wan Azizah Ismail to represent PKR and Pakatan rakyat (in Permatang Pauh) and to continue the fight for justice, and to change the fates of the people," he said in the note that was uploaded on his Twitter account.
Anwar had to vacate the federal seat earlier this year after exhausting all options to reverse his conviction for sodomy and to obtain royal pardon for his five-year jail term.
His wife, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah was later chosen as the party's candidate for the contest.
Since the campaign kick-off last weekend, however, the party leader has been dogged by accusations that she is merely acting as a proxy to her husband and would not likely be able to serve Permatang Pauh voters well as she is already the state assemblyman for Kajang, a seat some 400km away.
But Dr Wan Azizah has insisted, however, that the party's strategy to field her for the contest was not a political game.
"They (BN) say we are not serious in this by-election by fielding me, but we must remember, my husband is in prison, it is very serious," she said in a ceramah last night.
Permatang Pauh has been a PKR stronghold since Dr Wan Azizah led the party to take the seat back from Barisan Nasional (BN) in the 1999 general election.
Anwar first won the Permatang Pauh seat back in 1982 under BN before he was sacked in 1998 and jailed in Sodomy I.
In the last general election, Anwar defeated BN's Dr Mazlan Ismail with a 11,721-vote majority.
A total 71,890 registered voters in Permatang Pauh will cast their vote for their new MP on May 7, while early polls is on May 3.
Dr Wan Azizah is defending the Permatang Pauh seat for PKR against BN's Suhaimi Sabudin, PRM's Azman Shah Othman and independent candidate Salleh Isahak.
Polling is on May 7.