KUALA LUMPUR: Rafizi Ramli launched his campaign to become PKR deputy president today with eight running mates, stating that Anwar Ibrahim would need a team “100% loyal to him” in order to become prime minister.
He called for the revival of the spirit of Reformasi upon which the party had been founded, and listed four reasons for his decision to contest:
* Anwar would need people willing to disagree with him yet abide by decisions once taken;
* the need to strengthen Pakatan Harapan and win more parliamentary seats and more states;
* to keep Reformasi alive and PKR as a party of the people;
* to improve the welfare of PKR members.
PKR holds its party elections between August and September. Anwar has declared his candidacy to be party president.
Rafizi, former MP for Pandan, introduced his eight running mates, who had already been publicised earlier on a campaign poster shared online. They will contest the 4 vice-presisidents’ posts, and for leadership of the Wanita and Youth wings.
* vice-president: Nurul Izzah, Johari Abdul, William Leong and S Kesavan;
* Women’s wing: Fuziah Salleh for the leadership, and Rodziah Ismail for deputy chief;
* PKR Youth: Akmal Nasir for Youth leader, with Raymond Ahuar for deputy.
The party elections comes on the 20th anniversary of the Reformasi movement which began when Anwar was dismissed from the Cabinet, expelled from Umno and later jailed.
Support for Anwar to help him as prime minister
Rafizi said Anwar must have a team who is “100% loyal to him” for him to be able to succeed Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Malaysia’s eighth prime minister.
He needed people who would dare to disagree with him and accept a decision after it was made.
“Don’t agree in front of Anwar and disagree with him behind his back. Anwar needs to be a PM who gets full support and the mandate from the people and party. What is most important is we uphold ‘reformasi’ which can happen when Anwar becomes PM with support of party leaders,” he said.
Making Pakatan Harapan and PKR stronger
Rafizi said he wanted to strengthen Pakatan Harapan. He said the ruling coalition could easily lose power in Putrajaya despite having defeated the Barisan Nasional on May 9.
PKR also should be strengthened, as the party was perceived to be weak despite being the largest component in PH.
The party needed to recruit new members and work hard to win several states including Perlis, Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu and Sarawak
“We want, in the next election, for PKR to win 70 seats.”
Against political appointments, money politics and feudalism
Rafizi said his third reason was to keep alive the spirit of Reformasi in the party even though PKR was now part of the government.
“We must avoid feudalism, we must speak out against the culture of political appointments, money politics and feudalism,” he said to cheers from the crowds.
He cited the example of the appointments of local councillors, an issue which has led to two Selangor PKR leaders stepping down from their party posts in dissatisfaction.
“Don’t bring this culture into this party, we will fight them to the end. This is a party of the people.”
Starting a PKR Co-op to help members and create jobs
Rafizi said he wanted to improve and ensure the welfare of party members, “not through political appointments or handing out contracts to members.
“I want to start a PKR Cooperative with the ultimate goal of being able to do business for the benefit of members and create jobs for them.”
Others at today’s event were Kapar MP Abdullah Sani, Ijok assemblyman Dr Idris Ahmad, Subang Jaya MP Wong Chen, and Setiawangsa MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad who are contesting for a seat on the party’s Central Executive Committee.