Veterans’ move into politics seen as show of disapproval

“Once they are into politics, they have to be partisan. They should not spoil the name of the armed forces.”

(FMT) – An analyst sees a sign of growing dissatisfaction with the government in the decision of a group of military veterans to go into politics.

Awang Azman Pawi.

“They may be feeling unhappy over veterans’ welfare, the security of the country and the current economic climate,” Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya told FMT.

He said these veterans, “who fought to ensure the country’s security from external forces”, might now want to protect the internal situation through Parliament.

He was commenting on the announcement by a number of ex-servicemen that they had applied to the Registrar of Societies to set up a new political party called Parti Kemakmuran Negara. They said they planned to vie for 50 parliamentary seats in the next general election.

Awang Azman said the Covid-19 pandemic might have pushed them to the frontline of the political battlefield to fight for all-encompassing national policies.

Azizuddin Mohd Sani.

He said they should join hands with police, immigration and customs veterans to make their party stronger. “The impact on the Malay community and the vote bank will then get bigger,” he said.

Azizuddin Mohd Sani of Universiti Utara Malaysia said the group would most likely split the vote of current members of the armed forces and veterans.

He noted that the uniformed corps were previously inclined to support the establishment. “But now the armed forces’ vote may split between Perikatan Nasional (PN), opposition parties and this new party,” he said.

Azmi Hassan.

But another analyst, Azmi Hassan, said he believed military veterans should stay out of politics.

“Once they are into politics, they have to be partisan. They should not spoil the name of the armed forces.”

He also said the group would need resources to fight for 50 seats against well-known political parties in Pakatan Harapan and PN.

“It looks like a tall order, unless they have a good plan to win the hearts of the rakyat,” he said.