Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will contest in a by-election for the Port Dickson parliamentary seat previously held by army veteran Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah
The announcement was made by current Port Dickson MP Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah in a press conference today.
"I announce my resignation from the House of Parliament with immediate effect," Danyal said after expressing his wish to vacate his seat for Anwar.
Danyal won the Port Dickson seat with 36,225 votes in the 14th General Election (GE14)
Malaysiakini reported that the army veteran won a three-cornered fight against Barisan Nasional (18,515 votes) and Malaysian Islamic Party (6,594 votes) in GE14.
According to Malay Mail, PKR's victory in Port Dickson was unexpected as the constituency is home to a huge military population that had always been a Barisan Nasional "vote bank".
Nonetheless, Danyal revealed that he felt obligated to offer his seat to Anwar.
"It was not easy for me to adapt to my role as a politician," the veteran, who served in the Navy for over 40 years, said today.
Previously, the National Patriots Association (Patriot) warned of a backlash from army veterans if Port Dickson Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah is asked to make way for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's return to the Parliament
Malaysiakini reported that Patriot president Brig-Gen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji responded to reports of Anwar contesting in a by-election for the Port Dickson seat.
"If the news report proves to be true, Patriot then views it as the party's disregard for the veterans, and that the PKR leadership does not seem to appreciate the presence of a senior retired armed forces officer as a member of parliament," Arshad said.
Arshad also warned that veterans in Port Dickson may turn their backs on Anwar in the coming by-election.
"Asking Danyal to vacate his parliamentary seat may cause a backlash by veterans and those still serving in the Port Dickson constituency. Their votes may turn out to be protest votes against Anwar Ibrahim," he added.