PORT DICKSON: Independent candidate for the Port Dickson parliamentery seat, Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, admitted that some Umno grassroots leaders and members in Port Dickson support his candidacy in the Oct 13 by-election. The former Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar also pointed at an individual who sat beside him and introduced the latter as an Umno branch leader, without revealing his identity. "He came here to visit me and to back me up. So what's the issue?" he asked, adding that these Umno members were exercising their rights and have not gone against the party's constitution. Isa was speaking to reporters after visiting a gathering in Linggi today. Almost half of the 53 Umno branches in the constituency are reportedly out campaigning for Isa. "We are free to help our candidate, the independent candidate. When Umno boycotted the election, it meant we are free to help Isa," an Umno member who was at the gathering told reporters. Isa added that it was up to the people of Port Dickson to decide whether they would cast their votes for him, despite the scandals that occured during his tenure as Felda chairman from 2011 to 2017. "It really depends on the voters. On the issue of Felda, it is unrelated to the people of Port Dickson, isn't it?" He pointed out that even the authorities had not take action against him over the Jalan Semarak land deal. Meanwhile, PAS' secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was not eligible to contest in the Port Dickson by-election. Takiyuddin said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had only granted the PKR president-elect a full pardon and not a free pardon. "To be eligible, Anwar should be given 'pengampunan bebas' or free pardon under a different provision of the Federal Constitution, but he wasn't," he told reporters after a walkabout with Mohd Nazari at a wet market here. "What we learnt is that, Anwar would only have been able to contest if he was given a free pardon under Article 48 (1)(e), which touches on when an individual is eligible to contest as a wakil rakyat," he said. Takiyuddin said he is hoping that the Kuala Lumpur High Court will quickly hear the motion filed by a registered voter here on Anwar's status. "The voter had also filed a certificate of urgency for the case to be quickly heard. There will be another by-election if the court rules that Anwar is ineligible and disqualified if he wins the seat." Takiyuddin said this would further trouble voters and be a waste of public funds. The Federal Court had reaffirmed Anwar's five-year jail term on Feb 15 for sodomising his former aide, and the current independent by-election candidate, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in June 2008. Anwar was released and pardoned on May 16.