PETALING JAYA: Port Dickson Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah is merely “a piece in a chessboard” used in politics to suit PKR’s convenience.
National Patriots Association (Patriot) president Brig-Jen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamad Arshad Raji said that this is how the association and many veterans feel over Danyal’s resignation as an MP.
“We are disappointed with his resignation as an elected representative to the parliament.
"What disappointed the veterans even more is that quite a number had donated to his campaign fund when Danyal was announced as the candidate for the Port Dickson seat.
“Besides, Patriots and other veterans had campaigned for him and celebrated his victory.
“Having won the seat in a hard fought battle and then giving it up is ridiculous,” said Mohamad Arshad in a statement on Friday (Sept 14).
Earlier this week, Danyal announced that he has vacated his seat, triggering a by-election.
PKR president-elect Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will contest in the constituency.
If he wins, it will mean his return to the Dewan Rakyat as an MP, allowing the transition of the country’s leadership from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Anwar, as announced by Pakatan Harapan in January 2018.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he would honour the agreement that he will be the interim Prime Minister for two years before handing over the administration to Anwar.
Danyal said that he would work with Anwar and would still be serving his former constitutents.
However, Mohamad Arshad criticised Danyal, saying, “He can consider it lucky if his name is scribed into history in a mere single sentence mention of an MP who has resigned.
“There is a big difference between speaking out as an MP and as an officer serving under an MP.
The voice of an MP, whose position is high in the protocol ranking, carries a lot of weight when speaking out on issues of armed forced veterans and retired policemen, said Mohamad Arshad.
He added that issues related to the military, as well the welfare of veterans and retired police personnel, need to be articulated in Parliament and outside when the need arises.
“With Danyal out, a voice for the serving personnel and veterans in and outside the august House is lost,” he said.
Mohamad Arshad, however, reiterated that Patriot is not against Anwar contesting.
“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 Ibrahim,” he said.Patriot also said there are calls from various veterans to send a retired officer to contest as an independent in the by-election.