PORT DICKSON: ‘It felt good.’
That was how Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan described his feelings when asked about the encounter with the man he used to hate, PKR president-elect Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Mohd Saiful said he wanted to move on from his past controversies with Anwar, which made headlines more than a decade ago when the 33-year old claimed that he was sodomised by the veteran politician.
However, when asked if there were times he felt tired of being under the "shadow" of the controversy or Anwar, Mohd Saiful replied: "I do not know."
However he maintained that his venture into the Port Dickson by-election foray was not motivated by revenge.
"It happened in the past. I believe justice has been served and he (Anwar) had served time.
"I will not use whatever that had happened between us as an election capital.
"Inside (the nomination hall) we just said 'hello' to each other.
"There is nothing wrong with going against your former teacher," Mohd Saiful told reporters when met outside the nomination centre at the Port Dickson Municipal Council (MPPD) hall, here, today.
When asked why he chose to contest in Port Dickson instead of in previous by-elections if he was not personally motivated against Anwar, Mohd Saiful said: "Port Dickson is a good platform for young politicians to grow."
Mohd Saiful said he wanted to run for Port Dickson in order to represent a town which used to be his "old playground".
In June 2008, Mohd Saiful, then an aide to Anwar, lodged a police report claiming that he had been sodomised by the latter at a condominium in Kuala Lumpur.
In February 2015, the Federal Court upheld Anwar's conviction and a three-year jail term for sodomising Mohd Saiful.
However, Anwar received royal pardon by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on May 16.
Now older and married, Mohd Saiful expressed indifference over his past controversies with Anwar.
"Well, I can’t wait to see him inside (nomination centre). (It has) been a long time since I met him," he had said earlier this morning.
Meanwhile, on his campaign, Mohd Saiful said he would want to focus on efforts against engineering by-elections.
"It is not that I am supportive of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. But Malaysia had just elected its new government.
"It will be politically unstable to undergo another change of prime minister."
Mohd Saiful said he would unveil his manifesto in a few days, which focuses on "moving forward with stability".
Later at the official announcement of candidates by returning officer Khairy Maamor, Mohd Saiful was repeatedly booed by Anwar's supporters when his name was read out.
With little to no supporters to cheer him on, Mohd Saiful however remained composed.
He admitted that it would be a tight affair with Anwar, apart from other candidates.
"I have no machinery. No sponsors. I'm not affiliated with any political party. But I have a team, including my wife to help me out."
Polling day has been fixed for Oct 13.