PKR takes heed of concerns surrounding Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s move to contest the Port Dickson seat, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said today.
The PKR deputy president said that people were entitled to their own opinion on the matter, but refused to be drawn into a debate over “fears of nepotism”.
“That is certainly the view of Datuk Ambiga and also the civil societies.
“But my colleagues in the party and also Pakatan Harapan (PH) will focus on ensuring PH will continue to retain the parliamentary seat of Port Dickson,” he said, when asked to comment on the former Malaysian Bar president’s criticism that the move could mean potential nepotism in the new government.
“So we will work very hard, mobilise all our machinery from all over the state and to ensure not only to retain but to gain a larger majority because it is very crucial for us to continue with the mandate given by the people in the last general election,” he said.
When asked about why Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also Pandan MP, or Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar did not vacate their seats for Anwar, Azmin said the decision has been made and it was pointless to continue debating it.
“Now it has become academic. The decision has been made, so let’s focus on our machinery to ensure that we retain the seat,” he said.
Ambiga earlier warned that the move would spark dangers of nepotism in the already growing perception that the governing PH coalition was nepotistic, and that Anwar’s re-election and subsequent action could seal the perception.
Ambiga said that it would be more acceptable if either Dr Wan Azizah or Nurul Izzah had vacated their seats to allow him to contest, although she clarified that the problem only arose should all three take up government posts.
Incumbent Port Dickson MP Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah had on Wednesday stepped down to pave the way for Anwar’s re-entry to Parliament and subsequently prime minister.
The move was met with some criticism from both inside and outside the party, with some questioning the transparency in the party’s decision-making while other leaders said the was made without prior consultation.