PETALING JAYA: The National Patriots Association (Patriot) today hit out at Danyal Balagopal Abdullah for resigning as Port Dickson MP to make way for Anwar Ibrahim to contest in a by-election in the constituency.
Patriot president Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji said Danyal, a retired rear admiral, had betrayed his voters and was merely “a piece in the chessboard used in the game of politics to suit his party’s convenience”.
He said a number of veterans had donated to Danyal’s campaign fund for the May 9 general election, and had personally campaigned for him and celebrated his victory.
In a statement, he said it was “ridiculous” for Danyal to have won the seat in a hard fought battle only to give it up.
“Issues pertaining to the military and welfare of the veterans and retired police need to be articulated both in Parliament and outside whenever the need arises. This has to be continuously done during the five-year term.
“With Danyal out, a voice for the serving personnel and veterans in and outside the house is lost.”
Arshad also dismissed Danyal’s assurance that he would continue serving the constituents in Port Dickson, saying there was a big difference between speaking out as an MP and speaking out as an officer serving under an MP.
“He can consider himself lucky if his name is inscribed in history as a mere mention of an MP who has resigned.”
On Wednesday, PKR announced that Anwar would contest the Port Dickson seat in an attempt to make a parliamentary comeback and eventually take over as the eighth prime minister.
Danyal, who won the seat in a three-way fight with Barisan Nasional and PAS, said he felt obliged to offer it to Anwar whom he likened to the late Nelson Mandela due to his incarceration.
The Patriot group previously warned of a possible backlash from veterans if Danyal vacated the seat for Anwar, saying the move would be seen as PKR’s disregard for former servicemen and a sign that the party did not appreciate the presence of a senior retired armed forces officer as a parliamentarian.
In his statement today, Arshad said the group was not against Anwar contesting in a by-election.
“In fact, we have the best wishes for him as he is the prime minister-in-waiting.
“Patriot is only against Danyal resigning to make way for Anwar. We are expressing the disappointment of numerous veterans expressed through social media, and even calls to send a retired officer to contest as an independent in the forced by-election.”