12th September 2018
INCUMBENT PKR PORT DICKSON MP SHOULD REMAIN
Speculation in the media that the Port Dickson parliament seat currently held by MP First Admiral Danyal Balagopal Abdullah (Rtd) might be made vacant to allow for PKR President Anwar Ibrahim to contest has caused much uneasiness among armed forces veterans. Patriot feels strongly First Admiral Danyal should remain as MP to articulate issues pertaining to military matters and welfare of veterans which are often time left much wanting.
When Danyal first won the seat on a PKR ticket against his BN and PAS rivals garnering a majority of 17,710 votes, a sizable majority given the limited time Danyal had to contest the election, there was a sense of jubilation among veterans. The veterans hoped that Danyal could fill the void left by the previous MP of Lumut, First Admiral Hj Imran who is also from PKR. If the news report proves to be true, Patriot then views it as the party’s disregard for the veterans, and that the PKR leadership does not seem to appreciate the presence of a senior retired armed forces officer as a member of parliament.
The PKR leadership must understand that the presence of armed forces veterans in parliament is being support by thousands of veterans and is seen to be their representative, and a voice that they could rely upon on matter affecting veterans.
Asking Danyal to vacate his parliament seat may cause a backlash by veterans and those still serving in Port Dickson constituency. Their votes may turn out to be protest votes against Anwar Ibrahim. It is also likely to have a negative impact on future armed forces candidates in elections when senior officers are not given their due regards.
We understand that decision to force vacate any seat is the party’s internal matter. The people are feeling election-stressed after GE14 and three by-elections. If another by-election is really necessary, Patriot urges the PKR leadership that the Port Dickson parliamentary seat remains with the incumbent, and Anwar Ibrahim contests in a seat elsewhere.
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
President, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan