“Of course we are busy, but we have to spend time to meet the electorate because they will understand if we are busy, but they cannot accept it if we don’t get down on the ground.”
PARTI Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, reprimanding then Penang Deputy Chief Minister (DCM)1 and Penanti assemblyperson Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin for neglecting his constituents. Anwar expressed distress as “no one had made such an open complaint before and they want me to advise Fairus.” (Source: Anwar Advises Penang Deputy CM To Visit Constituency, Bernama, 31 Aug 2008)
Fairus later said he accepted the criticism in a positive manner and would endeavour to improve his service to the people, not only in Penanti, but in the whole of Penang.
“Not true. He will resign as the deputy chief minister and state exco member effective today. Nothing else.”
Anwar, commenting on Fairus’s resignation as Penang DCM1 and state executive councillor, and pooh-poohing speculation that Fairus would also be resigning as Penanti state assemblyperson. When pressed if the Penanti seat would be vacated soon, Anwar said Fairus would remain Penanti’s elected representative until the next general election. (Source: Anwar: M’sians reject new PM, Malaysiakini, 8 Apr 2009)
A week later, on 16 April, Fairus resigned as Penanti state representative.
“The by-election was unavoidable because we had to choose a capable leader who can work closely with the chief minister and contribute efficiently to the state administration.”
Anwar yet again, on the now-confirmed Penanti by-election, following Fairus’s resignation. Anwar revealed that he and Fairus had held a series of private meetings before finally deciding that resignation was the best option. (Source: Anwar: Fairus stays despite tempting offers, Malaysiakini, 18 April 2009)
This time, Anwar praised Fairus, saying that PKR took pride in the fact that Fairus gracefully relinquished his elected and appointed positions in Penang, to clear his name from allegations of corruption and prevent the party from being further tarnished.