Zaid has the edge as the PR candidate

KLANG: Political veteran Datuk Zaid Ibrahim is edging above the other two names short-listed as Pakatan Rakyat’s candidate for the Hulu Selangor by-election.
“Going by the feedback from within the party, I think Zaid will be the one. We feel he has vast experience as a politician and his stint as a minister in the Barisan Nasional Government is an added advantage,” said Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam, who is also a PKR political bureau member.
The two other names being considered are Dr Halili Rahmat and MTUC president Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud.
When contacted, Zaid, a PKR political bureau member, declined to comment.
“I’ve not been informed. The decision may only be known on Tuesday night,” he said in a text message to The Star yesterday.
Barisan will be fielding an MIC candidate for the seat, which fell vacant following the death of PKR MP Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad.
Meanwhile, a Bernama report also said PKR would likely field Zaid if MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel was named as Barisan’s candidate.
Party insiders said PKR might change its candidate at the 11th hour if Barisan decides not to field Palanivel.
“As for now, Zaid still tops the list as he still carries some national weight despite being an outsider,” said the sources.
They felt that Zaid and Palanivel would be the ideal candidates as both had served the Federal Government administration.
Zaid, who was expelled from Umno in December 2008, was a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of legal affairs and judicial reform while Palanivel was the deputy minister of Women, Family and Community Develop­ment.
“It would be only appropriate if a Datuk fights a Datuk, a heavyweight fights a heavyweight,” the insider said.
In Sibu, state DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng said party representatives would meet PKR leaders to decide on the Pakatan candidate for the Sibu parliamentary seat by-election.
The result of the discussion would only be announced by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during his visit on April 18.
He dismissed a news report yesterday quoting PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as saying her party should represent Pakatan.