Port Dickson voters in two minds about Anwar

Gan Pei Ling

Anwar Ibrahim's decision to stand in the Port Dickson parliamentary seat has caught locals in the seaside town by surprise. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, September 13, 2018.

INCOMING PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s decision to stand in the Port Dickson parliamentary seat has caught locals in this scenic town by surprise, and elicited mixed reactions.

Non-Malays here believe Anwar will win the seat hands down while Malay voters are in two minds about it.

As of May, Port Dickson has 75,212 registered voters who are Malays (43%), Chinese (33%) and Indian (22%).

“A newcomer like Danyal won with a huge majority in the 14th general election. This is Anwar, the future prime minister,” said a local MIC branch leader, who was at a vegetarian restaurant in Lukut.

Lukut is one of five state constituencies under Port Dickson. On May 9, PKR’s Danyal Balagopal Abdullah had polled 36,225 votes to defeat MIC’s V Mogan (18,515 votes) and PAS’s (6,594 votes) to retain the seat for PKR.

The MIC leader said only diehard MIC supporters, most of whom are senior citizens, will still vote for Barisan Nasional.

“Port Dickson was a MIC stronghold until 2008 but now things have changed. Most of the people I know are Pakatan (Harapan) supporters,” he said.

His son, Raj, who just turned 21 this year, said most of his peers are still excited about the new PH government.

“This will be their first time voting. It’s Anwar. He was a very good opposition leader. Those outstation will probably come back to see him and vote for him,” said Raj.

A 63-year-old restaurant owner who only wanted to be known as Cheok is confident Anwar will win with a larger majority than Danyal.

“This is to pave the way for him to be prime minister. It’s not a waste of money,” he said.

However, Roziah, a hawker near the Port Dickson town bus terminal, said she would definitely support former Negri Sembilan menteri besar Mohamad Hasan if he went up against Anwar.

“Tok Mat (Mohamad’s nickname) is good to us. We’ll support Umno. We voted against (former Umno president) Najib because he was corrupt,” said the drink seller.

Most of her fellow traders like Rahmat Hullah, 43, said they have no issue with Anwar contesting in Port Dickson but declined to reveal which party they would support.

A closet PAS supporter and fellow hawker, calling himself John, quipped that Anwar has waited a long time to become the prime minister.

“Pity him he has waited for a long time. Let him be lah. No issue. But he must fulfil the election manifesto and abolish tolls,” said the cake seller.

A 58-year-old Indian trader, Alagamah, wished PH would pay more attention to the plight of the poor.

“I’m okay. My children, one is already working and another is studying at UM (Universiti Malaya) but we still have a lot of poor people here.

“As the future prime minister, he must think what he wants to do for the people, not just what we ask,” she said.

Danyal yesterday stepped down from his elected post to allow Anwar to run for the parliamentary seat. A win for Anwar means a seat in Parliament, en route to the prime minister’s office when Dr Mahathir steps down. –  September 13, 2018.

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    Posted 5 years ago by MELVILLE JAYATHISSA · Reply

    • Dr. M seems to have hinted that his successor can be replaced, like Najib, if found wanting..

      Posted 5 years ago by MELVILLE JAYATHISSA · Reply

  • We need DSAI IN PARLIAMENT. His quality is needed now. Our country facing unprecedented problems and complex challenges . Tun M and DSAI , the best for our country. UMNO BN ALREADY DESTROYED OUR RICE BOWL

    Posted 5 years ago by Tam Yan Cheng · Reply

  • Watch out girls and boys, for the return of the dynamic duo Mahathir-Anwar...

    Posted 5 years ago by Mohamed Zaimir · Reply

  • PKR must outlive the shadow of DSAI...

    Posted 5 years ago by Sweesing lee · Reply

  • No issue of DSAI getting into parliament. After all he deserved it having served unwarranted time in prison. However, it's the way it is designed. He seems to be splitting his own party. It would have been a very grand affair if his journey to this by election is more transparently done, amongst his party and give a grand announcement with all by his side. Quite sure nobody would want to block him or can block him, coming back.

    Posted 5 years ago by Robert Phang · Reply

    • Precisely the point. It should have been a grand affair (announcement) especially with Tun M and the Presidential Council at his side. Why the "Cloak & Dagger" way. He is the 8th PM in waiting.
      I am angry at the way it was handled/managed, not that he is our 8th PM in waiting.
      Nonetheless, i wish him all the best and only the ppl of P132 (PD) can decide if he will be the 8th PM now.

      Posted 5 years ago by Hisham Abdullah · Reply

  • Should go to an UMNO stronghold to prove his worth. Why PD?

    Posted 5 years ago by Tanahair Ku · Reply

    • Because PKR is a hopeless party that can only stand in urban and semi-urban areas where there are significant non-Malay voters. If any PKR leader will to stand in rural Malay majority areas, they will be massacred like in the case of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.

      Posted 5 years ago by Jackal Way · Reply

  • I am not paying for Invoke anymore to further Rafizi's agenda to propel Anwar forward. PD move was done in bad taste and without the very same transparency and consensus that the former was so concerned about.

    Posted 5 years ago by Roger 5201 · Reply