The clear messages from Cameron Highlands


The clear messages from Cameron Highlands

By P. Gunasegaram@www.malaysiakini.com

‘There are very clear messages from the Cameron Highlands by-election. Harapan must take heed of these and act accordingly, or face the prospect of dwindling support from the populace – and even a possible loss in GE15. That would be a major setback for reform”–  P.  Gunasegaram

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QUESTION TIME | If the Pakatan Harapan coalition was in thinking and strategising mode instead of inter- and intra-party feuding, posturing and jostling for power and privilege, they may have been able to better see what was happening on the ground and prevented a bigger loss in the Cameron Highlands parliamentary by-election on January 26.

This seat was won by BN with a majority of just 547 votes in GE14, but this time around, BN’s majority widened considerably to 3,238 votes with Ramli Mohd Nor garnering 12,038 votes, while the closest contender, Harapan’s DAP candidate M Manogaran, got 8,800 votes.

There are three strong messages that come out from this Cameron Highlands result. It is imperative that Harapan take notice of these if they are to keep up their momentum and continue to fire the imagination of all sectors of the Malaysian public for change.

Even more importantly, coming up to nine months after achieving power, they need to start showing some results instead of bickering among themselves, and in the case of PKR, very tellingly within themselves, to show that they have the wherewithal to take this country decisively to a higher plane and keep going higher.

The first message is this – that an UMNO and PAS alliance can be a strong galvanising force to unite Malays, especially in the clear absence of any party within Harapan to stake a solid claim to represent Malay interests.

It was a matter of time before UMNO and PAS realised that and closed ranks. If Harapan had been in thinking mode, they would have long ago realised this and thought about it. But they needed this Cameron Highlands blast to jerk them out of their reverie, to sit up and take notice. They have lost valuable time.

The last general election results showed decisively that Bersatu, with its 13 parliamentary seats won, was nowhere near a replacement for UMNO. Likewise, PAS defectors’ party Amanah, with 11 seats, was a poor shadow of PAS, but it did much better relative to PAS than Bersatu relative to UMNOmno.

It turns out that the party in Harapan which has the greatest amount of Malay and bumiputera support is the multi-racial PKR, which won 48 seats, twice that of Bersatu and Amanah combined, many of that in Malay-dominant areas (see table below).

This indicates that many Malays are prepared to support a multi-racial party with Malay leadership at the very top with non-Malay leaders too at other levels, provided the party adheres to special privileges for Malays and the bumiputera and is prepared to walk the talk, while at the same time committing to stopping the abuse of such privileges.

It may be too early to dissolve all parties within Harapan to have one single multi-racial party. However, Harapan will do well to look at that, as well as other arrangements such as partial mergers between, say, Bersatu and Amanah or between PKR, Bersatu and Amanah, leaving out DAP if the time for that has not yet come.

Harapan needs to address urgently the vital issue of how to get Malay support. And they should not exclude a possible alliance with PAS for this, thus pulling the carpet from under UMNO.

This may require a leadership change within PAS and the dropping of DAP’s virulent opposition to the Islamic party. To bring PAS into the Harapan fold will help moderate its demands in terms of Islamisation and improve dialogue for a more constructive solution towards religious harmony, which will be acceptable to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

Patience wearing thin

The second message is that the candidate does matter under some circumstances, and it certainly did in Cameron Highlands. Sometimes it is necessary to look for the right candidate instead of blindly getting the previous candidate to stand.

BN was willing to do exactly that to get MIC to give up its claim for the seat and pass it to a qualified Orang Asli candidate who was a former assistant commissioner in the police force and a direct member of BN. If Harapan had been thinking, they could have got him instead.

That move ensured strong Orang Asli support, who formed 22 percent of the constituency against an Indian population of just 15 percent, a Chinese population of 30 percent and 34 percent Malays (adds up to 101 percent due to a rounding error). Also, the candidate is Muslim which would have ensured more Malay support as well.

Harapan will do well to remember that an increasingly discerning public will demand better candidates to be their representatives, not UMNO has-beens. Bersatu, especially, should be looking out for capable candidates for GE15 who are not of the UMNO mould. It is some cause for celebration that an Orang Asli has finally entered Parliament in Malaysia.

The final message is that the public is starting to get disillusioned with Harapan. In the Port Dickson by-election of Oct 13, some three-and-a-half months ago, Anwar Ibrahim won by a 23,560-vote majority, higher than the previous majority of 17,710, despite a lower turnout when Harapan contested against a PAS candidate who got 7,456 votes.

Former UMNO strongman and Najib Abdul Razak ally Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, who contested as an independent, lost his deposit with 4,230 votes, while Anwar’s former aide who accused him of sodomy, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan garnered just 82 votes. According to an analysis by Malaysiakini, Anwar garnered more Malay support in Port Dickson than that obtained there in GE-14.

Yes, the dynamics were different in Cameron Highlands, but Harapan needs to note that the people’s patience is wearing thin. If it can show some tangible results in terms of fulfilling election manifesto promises and outline a definite plan of action, Harapan can do much better in future by-elections.

There are very clear messages from the Cameron Highlands by-election. Harapan must take heed of these and act accordingly, or face the prospect of dwindling support from the populace – and even a possible loss in GE15. That would be a major setback for reform.


P GUNASEGARAM says it is dangerous to ignore the writing on the wall as a new chill wind blows in. E-mail: t.p.guna@gmail.com

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

BN’s victory gives Harapan a much-needed and well deserved kick in the butt–Get Back to serious work and Stop pontificating.


January 27, 2019

BN’s victory gives Harapan a much-needed and well deserved kick in the butt–Get Back to serious work and Stop pontificating.

Opinion  |
by  Francis Paul Siah@www.malaysiakini. com

COMMENT Three days ago on Jan 23, I shared my thoughts on the Cameron Highlands by-election with some friends, penning this message: “I hope BN wins. Why?

“I always look at the candidates, not the party. BN’s Ramli (Mohd Nor) is a fresh face, a tough ex-cop, not entangled in dirty party politics before. He will be a welcome change in Parliament.

“DAP’s M Manogaran might be a known fighting cock but a tired, same-old, same-old face in Parliament. He is a former Teluk Intan MP.

“If I am a voter in Cameron Highlands, my vote will go to Ramli also because I think Pakatan Harapan could do with a little jolt. A government in power must not be invincible.

“Whoever wins, the people of Cameron Highlands will get the development and government assistance as promised. So they should be well taken care of. Now, they must vote wisely.

“Then again, I’m only giving my views from afar. I do not know the candidates personally. Neither am I familiar with Cameron Highlands, save for the tea I enjoy daily from there”, I concluded.

I was rooting for a BN victory because I would like to see a stronger opposition in the country. Another extra seat for the opposition BN probably means more than another one in the bag for the powerful Pakatan Harapan government.

Then again, Cameron Highlands was won by the BN, via MIC’s Sivarraajh Chandran in GE-14. BN’s victory, in terms of numbers in Parliament, will not really make any difference to both sides.

Morale boost

But it does make a world of difference as a morale boost for the BN as this is its first win in a by-election since GE-14.

Several contributing factors are quite clear for this BN’s victory. Let me just pin-point two.

The choice of BN candidate was superb. Ramli Mohd Nor is not a politician and not affiliated to any party. He is an independent candidate riding on the BN platform. He is untainted and carries no ‘baggage’ commonly associated with BN leaders of the past.

MIC made a wise decision by giving way to UMNO to pick a candidate. Perhaps, it was a blessing in disguise that Sivarraajh was barred from contesting for five years by the Election Commission (EC), otherwise he would have insisted on contesting the seat.

I’m also quite surprised by the MCA and MIC teams campaigning for the BN, even with the Umno-PAS cooperation in full galore. No love lost despite the non-Malay BN components disagreeing with PAS on many fronts.

Perhaps, Ramli the candidate is the reason why MCA and MIC were able to aside their fundamental differences with Umno, if only just for this by-election. Ramli is a local boy, an Orang Asli who calls Cameron Highlands home.

With the previous tainted UMNOo big-wigs, including president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, out of the picture now, the new UMNO under the leadership of Deputy President Mohamad Hasan, did very well in choosing the right candidate.

And surprise, surprise, even former premier Najib Abdul Razak was said to have made quite an impact with his endearing “Bossku” tag on the campaign trail.

The social-media savvy Najib is still a force to be reckoned with, say or think what you like about him.

The second most important factor leading to the BN victory is the even-level playing field now for the contesting parties.

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With the new EC boss who ensures that no election offences are committed, the opposition is now able to campaign with more ease, match the ruling party and tackle its might and superiority head-on.

No Harapan ministers dared to break the rules. All eyes were on the look-out for any abuse of government machinery. Complaints to the EC on such matters were immediately attended to.

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Even Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had to charter a helicopter for the trip to Cameron Highlands on the last day of campaigning.

And Manogaran’s shirt blunder on polling day was also an issue. Well, an offence is an offence, no matter how minor it is. Kudos to the EC for a splendid job in Cameron Highlands.

As a Sarawakian, I hope the EC will also leave no stone unturned on this abuse of government machinery come the Sarawak elections which must be held by 2021.

I’m also glad that the by-election also saw the first electoral debate between the contesting candidates. It was telecast live on Astro and TV 1.

It’s a pity Ramli declined the invitation by Bersih to partake in the debate. Perhaps, a policeman is more comfortable with getting on the act rather than talking.

At the end of it all, the BN victory is probably a jolt Harapan badly needs. Never ever take the voters for granted.

In whatever leaders of government and politicians do, please bear this in mind: You are a servant of the people. The voters owe you nothing. You are paid by them to do a job. Stop politicking. Get down to it.

Congratulations Ramli and the Orang Asli community. At long last, you have one of your own, an Orang Asli Member of Parliament.

Be proud, be very proud.


FRANCIS PAUL SIAH heads the Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) abd can be reached at sirsiah@gmail.com

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

PKR apologises to Orang Asli for ‘unintended careless statements’


January 13. 2019

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PKR apologises to Orang Asli for ‘unintended careless statements’

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/460031

Too late for this insolence, Tian Chua, since when PKR has  become a party of arrogant people? It was not like this in 2008. –Din  Merican

 CAMERON POLLS | PKR Vice- President Tian Chua has issued an apology on behalf of his party for “unintended careless statements” that may have offended the Orang Asli community.

As Chua stressed, PKR upholds the principles of freedom of association and expression, including the rights of Orang Asli tok batin (village chiefs) and the community to support any political party to advance their interests.

“On the same principle, ketua kampung, community leaders or civil servants in general are free to vote according to their conscience.

“Federal funding or appointments should not confine or restrict the recipients from freely choosing their political affiliation,” he said in a statement today.

Though Chua did not make explicit mention of the offending remarks, his statement follows the public outrage over PKR senator Bob Manolan Mohd saying that tok batin in Cameron Highlands could lose their salaries if they do not back Pakatan Harapan in the coming by-election.

Bob Manolan later clarified that he meant the village chiefs should not be involved with UMNO while receiving an allowance from Putrajaya due to a conflict of interest.However, he did not address his comment on depriving the tok batin of their posts or salaries, which was caught in an audio recording.

Several tok batin had also told Malaysiakini that they were outraged by Bob Manolan’s remarks.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng assured yesterday that tok batin will continue to receive their salaries regardless of their political affiliation.

In his statement, Chua also stressed that PKR does not endorse coercion or enticement as a means to garner votes, and urged the party’s leaders to be more careful and sensitive of public sentiment.

They should also be mindful of the laws during the Cameron Highlands by-election campaign, he said, while expressing hope to move on from the incident.

“I hope all the rhetorical polemics will end here.

“Let’s focus our debate on issues of public concern, and use a fair platform to compete healthily in this by-election to advance the progress of the nation,” he said.

PD voter files for review of Danyal’s resignation, seeks to stop by-election


PD voter files for review of Danyal’s resignation, seeks to stop by-election

by Hafiz Yatim@www.malaysiakini.com

A Port Dickson voter filed a judicial review application at the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday to challenge the decision by his constituency’s outgoing MP Danyal Balagopal Abdullah (photo) to vacate the seat, as well as the calling of a by-election in the constituency next month.

Rosmadi Mohd Kassim, 56, named Danyal and the Election Commission (EC) as respondents in the application filed by law firm Raja Riza and Associates.

Rosmadi, who is a registered voter in Port Dickson, asked leave of the High Court to declare Danyal’s resignation invalid and therefore null and void. He also requested leave for a certiorari to quash the EC’s notice dated Sept 20 to hold the by-election.

Rosmadi is seeking a declaration that the EC’s decision to announce that the seat is vacant is wrong by law, as well as an injunction to stop the commission from holding the by-election on October 13. The hearing for leave has been fixed on October 2.

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In his application, Rosmadi said he had lodged a police report on September 24 regarding Danyal’s resignation. He then filed the judicial review application on the grounds that Danyal had violated the oath he took as an MP on July 16, when on September 12, the incumbent stated his reason for resignation as paving the way for incoming PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

This, Rosmadi said, showed that Danyal favoured his loyalty to Anwar over Malaysians and a betrayal of Port Dickson voters’ trust, as the former navy man was not a bankrupt or physically incapacitated from doing his job as an MP.

The voter added that Danyal’s election promises had resulted in him winning the seat with a 17,710 majority against the PAS and BN candidate.

“Danyal’s resignation is not bona fide and against the provision of the Federal Constitution, as it is politically motivated and against public policy,” he said in the application.

“Article 51 of the Federal Constitution gives an MP the opportunity to relinquish his post, but it should be balanced by public interests,” he said, adding that such resignation should not be a political strategy, as it would destroy the democratic institution.

Rosmadi said that if Danyal is not interested to be a candidate then he should not have contested in the last general election.

He also alleged that the EC violated the statutory duty of its formation, as it should determine if the MP’s resignation is constitutional or not, before declaring the seat vacant and calling for a by-election. Rosmadi claimed EC failed to investigate whether Danyal’s resignation is in line with the constitutional provisions and is valid. Hence, he further alleged, Danyal’s resignation to pave the way for Anwar to be an MP and then be the PM is wrong in law and that the EC acted ultra vires to declare the vacancy and call for the by-election.

“Hence there is a prima facie case, for this judicial review application, as it is not an abuse of the court process,” said theapplicant, adding that if the injunction and his application is allowed, it would save huge costs in running a by-election.

Anwar as Port Dickson MP


September 20, 2018

 Anwar  as Port Dickson MP

Opinion  |

COMMENT | If Anwar Ibrahim does make the cut, invariably, as the Member of Parliament of Port Dickson, perhaps something akin to a healthy rivalry with Langkawi island MP Dr Mahathir Mohammad will be immediately triggered.

Key government events should be held in Langkawi, either to brainstorm on the revival of Malaysia, or, the various ministries. Such events are bound to catch on in Port Dickson, too, which is just a short distance away from Putrajaya.

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Indeed, high-end hotels, over the last 15 years, have also sprung up on Langkawi island (pic above), including the globally renowned Four Seasons. From time to time, it is not rare to see Indian families touring in huge numbers in Langkawi, too, often booking all their suites and rooms at one go.

Although Langkawi has also catered to the tourists of Scandinavia and Germany, who can often be seen basking in the sun, no discernible (foreign) presence has been seen at Port Dickson’s beaches as yet.

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Port Dickson Chalets

This is where Port Dickson has to stand out. Making its seas and shorelines pristine would make Port Dickson an ideal destination for families and international group tours beyond what has generally been provided to Malaysians.

If Anwar Ibrahim does somehow attract more Chinese to the beach town, the facilities in Port Dickson would have to be significantly scaled up – without which, the residents of Port Dickson would be looking at immense traffic bottlenecks and congestion.

Such negative externalities of tourism cannot be ruled completely. Polluted air, crowded bazaars, shortage of proper food and medical facilities, too, can all be a turn off to well-heeled Malaysian tourists.

In fact, without an iconic landmark, Port Dickson would be at a disadvantage, compared to Langkawi island. Langkawi, for example, hosts one of the longest cable cars in Southeast Asia that allows thousands of tourists to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the whole island.

Port Dickson, being flatter, is only known for its small-town feel and delicious local food. Perhaps a high tower should be built that would permit Port Dickson visitors to peer into the Straits of Malacca, and the thousands of ships that pass through it. It would seem that such a service should be introduced, in order to allow Malaysians to take a peek into what goes on in one of the busiest straits in the world.

The depths of the quays in Port Dickson should be constantly dredged and deepened, to allow bigger ships and vessels to berth, ideally ships that can ferry passengers across to Sumatera, Indonesia, which is just across the shores of Malaysia.

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To be sure, friendly ecological themes have to be worked into the grand schemes for all arrangements. Otherwise, a tourism scheme that is merely heavy on sheer human traffic alone is bound to create many side effects, beyond overcrowding, noise pollution, and inadequate waste disposal.

Either way, it is first time in the history of Malaysia that a reigning Prime Minister is an MP of a touristy constituency, indeed a tax-free zone to boot, which is Langkawi island. Should Anwar win the Port Dickson seat, the eighth prime minister of Malaysia would have to transform Port Dickson into a major township.

Port Klang was previously known as Port Swettenham, in recognition of the tenure of Resident Frank Swettenham in the 19th century. Over the years, Port Klang has morphed into a seafood attraction and high-density port.

No one knows if Port Dickson can become the hub of “bunkering,” a business that caters to refueling the ships and vessels that traverse through the Straits of Malacca.

If it does, this is an economic sector that is worth no less than US$1 billion a year. At least that is the current size of the bunkering business in Singapore, an idea that was ironically coined by Dr Mahathir previously.

It would help if Anwar Ibrahim could come up with such an industry-relevant solution, beyond merely looking to boost tourist numbers in Port Dickson.


PHAR KIM BENG was a multiple award-winning Head Teaching Fellow on China and Cultural Revolution in Harvard University.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

After the Kajang MOVE– Sham Democracy in Port Dickson


September 12, 2018

 

After the Kajang MOVE– Sham Democracy in Port Dickson

by Dr. Kua Kia Soong

wwwfreemalaysiatoday.com

Image result for Anwar Ibrahim and Turkey's Erdogan

The Man in a hurry to be like Turkey’s Erdogan to promote his own brand of Fundamentalist Islam which is a blend of Erdoganism and Khomeinism. Voters of Port Dickson Beware

After the frivolous “Kajang Move”, it is a wonder that our thick-skinned politicians in Pakatan Harapan (PH) still want to test the patience of Malaysian voters by forcing another by-election to allow Anwar Ibrahim to become a member of Parliament.

Why should a recently elected MP resign for yet another asinine by-election? One would think that if Anwar is in such a hurry to get into Parliament, the most suitable seat for him to stand in would be that of our 93-year-old Prime Minister who has already said that he has only one mission in “saving Malaysia”: to get rid of the former prime minister Najib Razak. That mission is now accomplished, and surely his seat would be the most suitable to vacate for Anwar. At his age and from what he has done since GE-14, he does not seem to have any new ideas to turn the country around and institute proper reforms.

This does not have to be executed immediately but it can be arranged in the next few months for the transition Prime minister to prepare for the changeover. That way, it will not provoke the irritation of voters who will be more understanding of the elderly politician bowing out from the national stage.

Thinking outside the box

Politicians, when it fits their agenda, do have the capacity to think outside the box. In January this year, PH Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin, who is also a minister, proposed having Mohamed Azmin Ali and Mukhriz Mahathir as candidates for Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, and argued that such a move could introduce a “refreshing” take on the country’s politics, and attract young voters.

This was indeed a bold and fresh opinion from a leader in Anwar’s own party. If that were the case, PKR would not even have to put taxpayers through the ordeal of another forced by-election in order to allow Anwar onto the political stage. He could then bide his time until the next election. Doesn’t Anwar have enough on his hands in forging meaningful unity within his own party, given the almost daily mudslinging we witness between the two PKR leadership factions?

Elderly politicians should know when to get off the stage

“If you don’t know when to get off the stage, then you know you have stayed too long…”

This piece of show business advice should be learnt by our elderly politicians. It is almost comical to see our elderly politicians still trying to justify their “right” to stand for election even while they clamour for “change” in the political order. They even cite political conspiracies by their opponents to justify hogging their electoral seats. Some have been in Parliament since the era of the Tunku – half a century ago! During that time, UMNO (surely not the paragon of democracy) has changed party leaders five times!

It is no coincidence that too many political leaders exert tight control over their own parties with prospective candidates in the party beholden to them. Such leaders also hog the federal as well as state seats using the justification that they are indispensable. The late Karpal Singh was a stern opponent of this grabby practice by established party leaders in hogging federal as well as state seats. His famous line when a former DAP stalwart left the party in 1990 was: “No one is indispensable.” That surely applies to everyone in the world, or do some people believe they are exempt from this truism?

In other democratic countries, we see responsible and honourable politicians resigning at the slightest failure of judgment on their part or when their term has reached a convenient point for some other younger leader to take over the party. The democratic justification for this term limit is simply that elected officials can over time obtain too much power or authority, making them less representative of all citizens. The democratic principle behind term limits is that no one person should have too much power or for too long. Thus, the concept of term limits minimises the amount of power any one person can gain over a period of time.

Preventing chances of corruption

As we saw only recently, even within the two-term service, corporate interests including those in property and finance can provide inducements to the incumbent chief minister, especially when they have developed familiar relations over time. There is clearly a correlation between the length of time a politician serves and the degree to which he/she has opportunities to engage in corruption. The principle of term limits has always been applied to the civil service, which is why civil servants and police personnel are transferred every so often to prevent the acquisition of power and inducements to corruption in any one post.

Term limits would make this less likely since there is less time that a politician can be influenced by the power of the office that they hold. Corporate interests cannot become as entrenched when term limits are in place. With term limitations, corporate influence still happens, but not to the extent that it can reach when such interests develop unhealthy relationships with career politicians who are in office for a long time.

Preventing careerism

In a democracy, elected representatives are supposed to represent the interests of the citizens. As most politicians will tell us when they are interviewed, especially before elections, their work is supposed to be a service to society as a whole. Being a member of Parliament or state representative is not a profession even though it has become a career for many people. In fact, elected officials should operate on the understanding that they are only serving the people for a period of time until it is someone else’s turn. Term limits ensure that representatives focus more on representing the public than on hogging the office and power.

Providing leadership opportunities for others

Democracy and organisational development are about providing opportunities to as many people as possible, especially empowering the young, women, indigenous people and the marginalised. In our society, there are so many individuals with untapped potential for leadership, as if that is not clear for all to see. In recent years, we have seen the surge of many young capable leaders in politics, including women from various ethnic origins.

Isn’t it amazing that after 61 years of independence, we still have elderly politicians who have been MPs since the Tunku’s era and refuse to let other young leaders have a go at the electoral merry-go-round?

The ancient sage Laozi could appreciate what true leadership is: “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”

Kua Kia Soong is adviser to Suaram.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

PKR executes ‘PD Move’ to pave way for Anwar’s return

by Zikri Kamarulzaman  |  Published:  | 

The Port Dickson parliamentary seat has been vacated to pave the way for a by-election to be contested by PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim.

Incumbent MP Danyal Balagopal Abdullah announced his intention to vacate the seat at a press conference in Petaling Jaya today.

During the May 9 elections, Danyal secured the Port Dickson seat by securing 59 percent of the total votes cast.

“I feel called to contribute to a smooth transition of the office of the seventh prime minister (Dr Mahathir Mohamad) to the eight prime minister (Anwar) in accordance to the agreement between Pakatan Harapan coalition members.

“Last night I was informed by Rafizi Ramli that after having discussed with the party leadership, Anwar had decided on accept my offer and choose Port Dickson as the constituency where he would like to stand as a candidate.

“I am confident Anwar will win the seat hands down and proceed to become the next Port Dickson MP and InsyaAllah, eventually become our nation’s eighth prime minister,” Danyal (below, right) said at the PKR headquarters.

The outgoing Port Dickson MP also said he would still serve the constituency as Anwar’s “eyes and ears”.

He also said that with Anwar as MP, he could do more for the people of Port Dickson who were “elated that the prime minister-in-waiting was coming to their area.”

 

 

PKR Secretary-General Saifuddin Nasution said there was no inducement for Danyal to vacate the seat.

Rafizi, who was also present at the press conference, denied that engineering a by-election was a betrayal of voters. This is because having Anwar in Parliament only further strengthened the people’s mandate by helping to enact national-level reforms, he said.

PKR stronghold

Saifuddin reiterated Anwar’s stance that he (Anwar) would not be seeking any government posts and would fully support the Mahathir administration.

No timeline has also been put in place for the transfer of power from Mahathir to Anwar. Saifuddin also said that DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin and Amanah President Mohamad Sabu had been informed of PKR’s plans and have pledged to help campaign for Anwar.

Meanwhile, on a question whether those aligned with incumbent PKR Deputy President Azmin Ali was left out of the seat talks, Saifuddin said there is only “team Anwar”.

“When people offer up their seats we don’t ask which camp you’re from,” he said.

Incumbent PKR Vice-President Dr Xavier Jeyakumar, who is aligned to Azmin, was present at the press conference

PKR has had a hold on Port Dickson, or Teluk Kemang as it was known prior to GE14, since 2008.