Ambiga disturbed by engineering of Port Dickson by-election

Gan Pei Ling

Ambiga Sreenevasan says the process of getting Anwar Ibrahim back into Parliament has to slow down. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, September 14, 2018.

INCOMING PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s move to engineer a by-election in Port Dickson has been met with dismay by former Bersih 2.0 chairman and Institutional Reform Committee member Ambiga Sreenevasan.

“I am disturbed by the engineering of a by election. I don’t understand the rush.

“This man has only served the people who came and voted for him for a few months so I feel sorry for the people and I feel sorry for him,” Ambiga said in Petaling Jaya this morning on the sidelines of the launch of a report on custodial deaths, called Five Faces of Police Custodial Deaths in Malaysia. 

PKR announced on Tuesday that former Port Dickson MP and ex-navy veteran Danyal Balagopal Abdullah had resigned to make way for Anwar to return to Parliament.

The move has generated public backlash and internal disgruntlement as senior PKR leaders questioned the move.

People reading the Five Faces of Police Custodial Deaths in Malaysia report at its launch in Petaling Jaya today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, September 14, 2018.

Ambiga said she understood that Anwar succeeding Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was part of Pakatan Harapan’s election agreement, but chastised the way things were being done to get him there.

“Of course, they will say he (Danyal) was not forced but I see it differently… He’s already being punished because he cannot run for another five years, if I’m not mistaken. He has punished himself,” said Ambiga.

She said that election watchdog Bersih 2.0 had always taken the view that politicians must respect the people’s will.

“It’s only been a few months. The timing… it’s hard to accept. It would have been fine if one of the family members stepped down. My understanding is that it would have been done that way,” said Ambiga. 

Anwar’s wife and daughter, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Nurul Izzah Anwar, are Pandan MP and Permatang Pauh MP, respectively. Wan Azizah is also deputy prime minister. 

Nurul Izzah had previously said she would not make way for Anwar as she had planned programmes to uplift her constituents in Permatang Pauh. – September 14, 2018.

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