KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim could encounter a “backlash” from voting servicemen in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan if the incumbent lawmaker — a retired admiral — is forced to make way for him, said the National Patriots Association.
The group representing retired security personnel pointed out that PKR took an unlikely victory in the coastal town during the general election as the military personnel there chose First Admiral (Rtd) Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah to represent them.
Patriot president Brig. Gen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji urged PKR to consider the ramifications of its rumoured choice of Port Dickson as the venue of Anwar’s return to Parliament.
“Asking Danyal to vacate his parliament seat may cause a backlash by veterans and those still serving in Port Dickson constituency. Their votes may turn out to be protest votes against Anwar Ibrahim.
“It is also likely to have a negative impact on future armed forces candidates in elections when senior officers are not given their due regards,” Arshad said in a statement.
He added that Malaysians were already exhausted with going to the polls, noting that there were already three by-elections since the 14th general election in May.
Arshad added that if PKR was adamant that a seat must be vacated for Anwar, then it should choose one that is not Port Dickson.
PKR is planning to trigger a by-election for Anwar to contest in order to ensure his return to Parliament and qualify him to be prime minister.
The party is rumoured to be considering Port Dickson, after ruling out Permatang Pauh and Pandan that are held by Anwar’s daughter and wife, respectively.
Pakatan Harapan’s victory in Port Dickson was among the more unexpected upsets of the general election as the constituency is home to a significant military population that had traditionally been a Barisan Nasional vote bank.
PKR is due to announce the seat to be vacated for Anwar this afternoon.