PETALING JAYA: The move to force a by-election in the Port Dickson parliamentary seat is wrong and a disservice to voters and democracy, says Datuk S. Ambiga.
Ambiga, who was a member of the Institutional Reforms Committee that reported to the Council of Eminent Persons, said while Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had the right to re-enter politics, it would have been more acceptable if either his wife or daughter had given up their seats instead.
“I feel sorry for the people, I feel sorry for him.
“I have no issue with Anwar coming back. He’s entitled to do that, but my understanding, or the public had the understanding, that one of his family members would give up (their seats),” she said.
Ambiga warned that there was already a growing perception that the Pakatan Harapan government was nepotistic, and Anwar being given a government post if he wins the Port Dickson by-election would only reinforce this view.
“We see it present in Pakatan now as a whole, not just in PKR. They need to watch out for that,” Ambiga told reporters here yesterday.
She said guarding against nepotism does not necessarily stop people from running, but is about what post or office they hold after.
Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Anwar’s wife, is currently the deputy prime minister while his daughter, Nurul Izzah Anwar, is MP for Permatang Pauh.
The National Patriots Association (Patriot) meanwhile has labelled Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah merely “a piece on a chessboard”.
Patriot president Brig-Jen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamad Arshad Raji said the association was disappointed with his resignation as Port Dickson MP.
“What disappoints 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, and also campaigned for him.
“Having won the seat in a hard- fought battle and then giving it up is ridiculous,” said Mohamad Arshad in a statement yesterday.
“With Danyal out, a voice for serving personnel and veterans in and outside the august House has been lost,” he added.
However, he stressed that Patriot was not against Anwar contesting.
“In fact we wish him the best as he is the Prime Minister-in-waiting.
“Patriot is only against Danyal resigning to make way for Anwar,” he said.
In Port Dickson, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia members told PKR’s Kapar MP Datuk Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid that he would not be welcomed to campaign in the by-election after he had accused Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad of being behind a plot to prevent Anwar from becoming prime minister.