PORT DICKSON: Jude Ignatius Lazaroo was born and bred in Port Dickson where he observed that race-based parties do not appeal to those like him, who are not Malay, Chinese or Indian.
Jude, who is of Portuguese descent, told FMT the same applied to members of his community in Melaka as well.
He said he had always advocated a two-party system like it is practised in the UK and US.
“In Malaysia, we have component parties. In Barisan Nasional (BN), you have Umno, MCA and MIC. For the Portuguese, who is representing us?
“If you are talking about racial parties, everything is for a particular race.”
For Jude, such race-based politics are what pushed him towards PKR.
“If you look at PKR now, the party is made up of all races.
“This is the kind of party that I have been waiting for, a party that can represent anybody,” he said after hosting a meet-and-greet session with Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also PKR president.
Jude acknowledged that before PKR, BN had done good things. He said Pakatan Rakyat and now Pakatan Harapan (PH) had also done “wonders” in states like Penang and Selangor.
“If those states can show how it is done, why not the whole country?
“We want our MP to be people-centric, not do things he wants to do but things the people really want.”
Jude, who runs a Portuguese cuisine restaurant, believes change comes with a price.
The 57-year-old said the Port Dickson by-election was part of a political strategy needed to stir change. This is against the view of other locals who expressed disappointment with the PH government when the incumbent MP Danyal Balagopal Abdullah stepped down to make way for Anwar Ibrahim in his efforts to return to Parliament.
Asked whether he felt “used” by Anwar in the latter’s attempt to become prime minister, Jude said: “I don’t think so. When a change needs to happen, it has to happen and there needs to be some kind of sacrifice.
“When you play a game of chess, even though the queen is the most powerful, you know you may need to sacrifice her to win sometimes. You need to sacrifice the queen in order to checkmate the opponent’s king.
“The time is right for somebody else to take over now. Whether it is politically right or morally right, that is politics,” he said.
“I always feel that there should be a time to give another person a chance to perform.”
Asked whether Anwar would be able to fulfil the needs of the Port Dickson people, Jude said the town needed a tourism boost.
“We opened this restaurant to cater to those who crave Portuguese food, so they don’t have to travel to Melaka. But Port Dickson has been left in such a state that nobody wants to come here any more.
“What Port Dickson needs is a good MP here, to carry the message across to the tourism and culture minister and federal government to promote Port Dickson better.
“Everybody talks about Port Dickson, but why are people still flying off to Phuket or Langkawi?”
Likewise, he said, Port Dickson needed to develop its infrastructure.
“The sea at Port Dickson is seldom dirty. It’s only during the monsoon season when debris gets washed up that the water looks dirty.
“On top of that, there is a lack of civic consciousness among visitors and residents in Port Dickson,” he said.