The people of Selangor believe Anwar Ibrahim is still the “most suitable” person to lead the country despite the former opposition leader languishing in prison.
According to a survey by Institut Darul Ehsan (IDE), about 30 per cent of 1,761 registered voters in all of the state’s 56 constituencies preferred Anwar over all other opposition figures.
This included, Anwar’s one time mentor former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad (24 per cent), sacked Umno deputy president and current president of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) Muhyiddin Yassin (17 per cent), DAP leader Lim Kit Siang (15 per cent) and PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang (14 per cent).
Explaining the results, IDE’s Deputy Chairman Mohammad Redzuan Othman said Anwar topped the chart as his “aura and influence” were still strong in Selangor.
“When Anwar was sacked from his post as the deputy prime minister, the whole of Malaysia stood up opposing the move. But when Muhyiddin was sacked, no one retaliated, some didn’t even know he was there until the sacking.
“That is the difference,” he said at a press conference at the Carlton Hotel here today.
Anwar, once tipped to replace Mahathir, was given the boot in 1998 following allegations of corruption and sexual misconduct. The former Permatang Pauh lawmaker is currently serving a five year jail sentence for sodomising his former aide in 2008.
Muhyiddin, meanwhile, was dropped as the DPM last year after criticising Prime Minister Najib Razak’s handling of allegations against 1Malaysian Development Bhd. He was earlier this year sacked as Umno deputy president and from Umno.
In the same survey, about 40 per cent of the respondents tipped Anwar as the individual most capable of returning the country to its former glory.
Mohammad Redzuan also showed the results of a survey IDE had conducted back in Nov 2015, which indicated that the majority of Selangor residents believed Anwar was a victim of political persecution.
This, he said, might explain why many still believed Anwar was the strongest political figure in Malaysia, despite his sentencing.
The results of the survey on Anwar come hours after a report quoted Mahathir as saying that Muhyiddin was his top choice for the post of Prime Minister if the opposition were to win the next general election.
DAP publicity chief Tony Pua had, however, said that the Federal Opposition Pakatan Harapan’s top pick for the post was still Anwar.