When a person enlists in the Armed Forces, he makes a commitment to uphold a greater good, even if it means to sacrifice himself in defence of the nation.
Perhaps it was that which motivated Rtd Admiral Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah to vacate the Port Dickson seat in order to give way for the man of the moment, Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, to make his long awaited comeback to Parliament.
It was definitely a high price to pay for the ex-Navy Admiral.
This was because due to a constitutional amendment in 1990 to Article 48(6) , an MP resigning his seat is disqualified from contesting for the House for five years. This means Datuk Danyal can only contest a seat in 2023, at a time when he will be well into his seventies.
What more for a first time MP who won the marginal seat of Port Dickson with a landslide. In achieving his victory, Datuk Danyal had managed to overturn BN’s almost total dominance in the Army vote. With Pakatan Harapan as the Government, the situation has now changed when Dato Seri Anwar managed to get 65% of the uniform vote.
This should not be taken lightly as anybody claiming this turn of events may have been prosecuted under the “fake news” act only a few months ago.
Whilst Datuk Danyal’s experienced a short career as an elected official, was is role in paving the way for Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim to become Malaysia’s 8th Prime Minister will be written into the history books. Right now, even those who had opposed him, are coming around to the idea that it was DSAI’s destiny to lead Malaysia.
Already, influential voices in UMNO, such as Padang Besar warlord and MP, Dato Seri Nazri Aziz have openly expressed his hope and desire to see DSAI take the final step so as to bring unity to a divided country. He had also noted that DSAI had not actually resigned from UMNO, perhaps alluding to a grand compromise that will fulfil Najib’s Blue Ocean Strategy (“BOS”) of making the “competition irrelevant.” Whilst UMNO is almost certain to support Dato Seri Anwar as Prime Minister, PAS may not share the same feelings. After having been humiliated publicly and privately by PAS President, Hadi Awang, it will be difficult to see the Men In Green come around to this arrangement.
But these moves and the hope that DSAI will restore Malaysia’s economy could not have been possible except for Datuk Danyal’s sacrifice. So how should the nation show its appreciation to this sterling ex-Admiral, who had developed a reputation for being down to earth and approachable even when he was still serving in the Navy?
For one, Datuk Danyal could be appointed as one of DSAI’s principal private secretaries when DSAI is named as Prime Minister. His capability in having extraordinary people skills as well as his loyalty should stand him in good stead. Or he could be appointed as a Senator, with a portfolio such as Deputy Minister of Defense – this will be a no brainer given his prior Military experience. Or he could be appointed as Chairman of the Olympic Council given his background in sports
As the sayings goes, Malaysia is a land of endless opportunities to show gratitude to Datuk Danyal. We, the citizens of Malaysia, however owe it as a duty to repudiate the saying “old soldiers never die, they just fade away.” No sir, Datuk Danyal service to the country has only just begun.