Permatang Pauh is a town in Seberang Perai, the hinterland portion of the island-state of Penang, Malaysia. Permatang Pauh is now led by Anwar Ibrahim who is the Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh.
Permatang Pauh is probably most famous for its one-time and currently incumbent Member of Parliament, Anwar Ibrahim, who scaled the heights of Malaysian national politics by becoming a very popular Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy President of the dominant ruling party, only to be unceremoniously fired and locked up under various charges, including the taboo crime of sodomy.
All the charges made against him, for which he was jailed for several years, have yet to be proven.
When Anwar Ibrahim was locked up and thrown into jail, the electorate of Permatang Pauh elected his wife Wan Azizah Ismail as their Member of Parliament in the 1999 General Election. Wan Azizah Ismail, who also became the president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (People's Justice Party), was again elected to represent Permatang Pauh in the 2004 General Election and won easily again in the 2008 General Election .
The constituency of Permatang Pauh is one of 31 seats held by Parti Keadilan Rakyat in the current Parliament. There are two institutions of higher learning located in Permatang Pauh, namely a campus of Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and Politeknik Seberang Perai.
On July 31, 2008, Wan Azizah Ismail announced her resignation as Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh, thereby forcing a by-election to be held within 60 days of the announcement. This came amidst a fresh allegation of sodomy against Anwar Ibrahim, who fiercely and strongly denied the allegation, saying that this is just another round of political conspiracy against him.
Anwar Ibrahim (PKR) gained a majority of 15,671 defeating the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional candidate, Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah and AKIM candidate Hanafi Mamat on August 26, 2008 Permatang Pauh by-election.