By Koh Jun Lin
Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar shocked her supporters last night by saying the person who was her election returning officer (RO) on March 8, 2008, warned her she would not win the coming general election if he were to serve as RO again.
Nurul Izzah (left) said she had a chance meeting with the officer yesterday after a press conference with outgoing Kuala Lumpur mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail and the MPs of the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.
Recounting the incident to the crowd at the Lembah Pantai PKR fund-raising dinner, she said she greeted the officer and asked whether he would be serving as RO at the Lembah Pantai constituency again, but his reply shocked her.
“The response of my RO in 2008 was, ‘No, if I become your RO again, you will not win’,” she said at the dinner at the Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur last night, as the crowd gasped loudly in astonishment.
‘A rude awakenning’
Nurul Izzah, who is also a PKR vice-president, said she initially thought it was a bad joke and asked the RO if he was serious, but only got a stern look in response.
Calling it a ‘rude awakening’, she said ROs must be professional and objective in the performance of their duties and that she would take the matter up with the Election Commission (EC).
“Can you imagine? In its statements, the EC says it will carry out the transformation; that it has fulfilled all of Bersih’s demands.
“But when meeting the RO, who would become an RO again, he says, ‘If I am posted to Lembah Pantai, you will not win again,” she said.
Later, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo in his speech pointed to the 1,000-strong turnout and wondered why Nurul Izzah was worried.
“She says that this is the dinner where we must fight to ensure that she gets support for the next election. Quite frankly, I don’t know what she is worried about because I think there is no doubt that she will retain Lembah Pantai in the next election,” Gobind said.
The lawyer then turned to PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli, who was also present, and said, “I’m sorry, you’re going inside (into prison).
“It is a matter of time. They will come, they will arrest you, assault you in the police station, but don’t worry the legal team will be ready,” Gobind said.
Loud cheers for Rafizi
Earlier, during Nurul Izzah’s speech, she was interrupted by the crowd cheering when Rafizi arrived. She then urged the crowd to shake Rafizi’s hands while they could, because he may soon land in prison for his various exposés.
“Please shake his hands. Please say ‘hello’ to him. Because if we do not win this election, we do not know how long he will be spending time in prison,” she said.
She pointed out that the documents Rafizi exposed in relation to the LRT Ampang Line extension project were marked ‘secret’, and that he was already being investigated under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) for the exposing the NFC scandal.
Also spicing up the night was none other than PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, who, on the invitation of Elvis impersonator HT Long, sang the King of Rock and Roll’s It’s now or never, but with the last chorus modified to suit the occasion.
“It’s now or never, we vote PR (Pakatan Rakyat). We save Malaysia, from Umno-BN. Tomorrow will be too late. It’s now or over, my love won’t wait,” Anwar sang to the wildly cheering crowd before beginning his speech.
Other speakers last night were Rafizi and former Perak menteri besar Nizar Jamaluddin. – Mkini