Port Dickson discussion with PKR leaders now 'purely academic' - Azmin

  • Sep 14, 2018
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PKR deputy president Mohammed Azmin Ali said that any discussion now among party leaders on the decision on president-elect Anwar Ibrahim contesting the Port Dickson parliamentary seat was “purely academic”.

He was quoted as saying so by the Malay Mail, after stating that PKR should consider the views of all party leaders in this matter.

“However, those views by some party leaders are serious and should also be given due attention.

“It (reaching such a decision without discussing with all party leaders) will not happen again after this with a united party front.

“How it was decided, it has become academic, the focus now should be on ensuring our party retains that seat in the by-election,” Azmin is reported as saying to a gathering of party members in Seberang Perai last night.

The statement by Azmin, who is also economic affairs minister, came following claims by several other party leaders, including vice-president Tian Chua and Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin, that the vacating of the Port Dickson seat had never been discussed.

Party elections

The matter was linked to the coming party leadership elections, in which Tian Chua reportedly accused fellow vice-president Rafizi Ramli of trying to capitalise on Port Dickson to help his bid to wrest the PKR deputy presidency from Azmin.

Both Zuraida and Tian Chua are said to be aligned with Azmin.

In what is being described as the "PD Move", PKR's Port Dickson incumbent MP Danyal Balagopal Abdullah vacated his seat on Wednesday to make way for Anwar to contest to enable his return to Parliament.

In announcing his decision, the first-time MP stressed that he had chosen to give up his seat as he felt it was his calling to contribute to the smooth transition of the premiership from Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Anwar, in accordance with the agreement among Pakatan Harapan coalition members.

Anwar, the prime minister-in-waiting, had stated that he was offered several seats to contest in but settled on Port Dickson due to Danyal's "seriousness" in giving up his seat.

However, armed forces veterans' group Patriots has expressed its disappointment with the move, saying it was losing a spokesperson who could champion the interests of the veterans and the armed forces in the Dewan Rakyat.

Danyal, a retired Royal Malaysian Navy admiral, denied that they would be sidelined, saying it would be in their interest to have the future prime minister as the MP of the army town of Port Dickson, should Anwar win.

In the 14th general election, Danyal won the seat with a 17,710-vote majority, securing 36,225 votes, over BN's 18,515 and PAS' 6,594 votes respectively.