I served military for decades, wasn’t that loyalty? Resigned PD MP asks voters

Former Port Dickson MP Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah speaks during a Pakatan Harapan ceramah in Lukut September 30, 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Former Port Dickson MP Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah speaks during a Pakatan Harapan ceramah in Lukut September 30, 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

PORT DICKSON, Sept 30 — Former Port Dickson MP Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah has asked his critics to reflect on his decades-long military career after many claimed his decision to vacate the parliamentary seat was tantamount to a betrayal of the people’s trust.

In defending his decision to vacate his seat for PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest in a forced by-election, Danyal said no one should question his loyalty as he has served in the Malaysian Armed Forces for at least 40 years.

“If that period of service is not equivalent to loyalty, then I do not know what else it means anymore,” he said during a ceramah in the town of Lukut here.

Danyal is a retired rear admiral from the Royal Malaysian Navy.

Brushing off claims of “misplaced loyalty”, Danyal said he understood clearly what it meant to be faithful to one’s country and the Malaysian people.

“When I made the decision to vacate the seat, it was a personal decision I made willingly after three months of deliberation,” he said.

Danyal had previously announced that he would continue to serve the people within the constituency on behalf of Anwar, albeit in a non-MP capacity.

Danyal said it was wrong for people to assume he had casually given away the seat with a many of its electorate former servicemen, to Anwar as he possessed the blood of a military veteran.

“I did it for the good of the people in Port Dickson.

“If Anwar is not given the opportunity to enter Parliament, then he may never be ready to become the eighth Prime Minister of Malaysia when the time comes,” he said.

He added with Anwar’s victory, the PKR president could focus on parliamentary reforms while waiting to be sworn-in as the next prime minister.

Anwar will face six other candidates in the October 13 by-election, that was triggered in PKR’s bid to return him to Parliament.