Saifuddin (right) making the announcement today.  Bernama photo


PETALING JAYA: Vacating the Port Dickson Parliamentary seat to make way for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest in a by-election is not a betrayal of the people.

PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the move would enable the PKR president-elect to serve as Member of Parliament.

“Betrayal is when we steal the people’s money, when we use our position to enrich ourselves, when we have power, we suppress the people.

“But in a democratic system, the road for us to represent the people in Parliament is through an election, and in this situation, it is done with the specific intention of implementing a consensus,” he said in a special press conference at the PKR headquarters here today.

At the press conference, Port Dickson MP Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah announced he was resigning from the post to allow Anwar, who won uncontested as PKR president, to contest the parliamentary seat.

Saifuddin Nasution said Anwar who was previously Permatang Pauh MP was denied the chance to serve the people when he was sent to prison.

“He was dragged to prison so he was denied the chance to serve the people, and now he is free to contribute,” he said.

Anwar lost his post as Permatang Pauh MP after the Federal Court upheld the five-year jail sentence on him after rejecting his plea against the charge and prison sentence for sodomy in February 2015.

He received a full royal pardon from the Yang di Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V on May 16, with immediate effect.

Meanwhile,  Danyal Balagopal said he will continue to contribute to the parliamentary constituency even though he was no longer the people’s representative.

“I am not quitting my people, I am staying in Port Dickson and I will be Anwar’s eyes and ears on the ground for him,” he said.

PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli said vacating the seat was not a betrayal (of the people) as it did not violate the mandate given by the voters.

He said Pakatan Harapan would fulfil the promises made in the last general election for the benefit of the people.

In the 14th general election on May 9, Danyal Balagopal, a former senior officer in the Malaysian Armed Forces, defeated BN candidate Datuk V.S. Mogan and PAS  candidate Mahfuz Roslan with a majority of 17,110 votes.

The Port Dickson parliamentary constituency has five state seats, namely Chuah and Lukut (both held by DAP), Bagan Pinang and Linggi (BN), and Sri Tanjung (PKR).

The Port Dickson parliamentary seat (formerly Telok Kemang) has been held by PKR for three terms since 2008. – Bernama