PETALING JAYA: PKR vice-president Tian Chua has taken deputy president hopeful Rafizi Ramli to task for having running mates in the coming party polls.
“I don’t agree with the way Rafizi conducted himself. PKR members are allowed to contest if they want, and they certainly have the prerogative to choose who they want.
“That’s fine. But don’t start saying ‘this is my team’ and ‘only support my team’ because you are the real reformists and the rest are all corrupt. How can you say this?” Tian Chua told FMT.
Rafizi, who is PKR vice-president, announced his candidacy last week. He is expected to take on incumbent deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali, who is the economic affairs minister, in the PKR polls later this year.
Azmin, however, has not confirmed whether he will contest the deputy president’s post.
Rafizi said he had the support of eight running mates comprising Nurul Izzah Anwar, Johari Abdul, William Leong, S Kesavan, Fuziah Salleh, Rodziah Ismail, Akmal Nasir, and Raymond Ahuar.
They will contest the four vice-presidents’ posts and also as leaders of the Wanita and Youth wings.
Tian Chua, the former Batu MP, said PKR had to “keep cool” and be wary of adopting a “very bad political culture”.
“This is not like in two- or three-cornered fights in previous general elections where parties would compete because they had different ideologies. PKR is all about reforms. What else is there for us to impress upon our members?
“We are all family members. Don’t come in and say ‘this is my team’. Be willing to accept other leaders if there is a consensus for it, but don’t do it like this,” he said, referring to Rafizi.
The PKR elections are scheduled to take place from September through October. They take place every three years. The nomination process starts this month.
The odds are currently 60% in favour of Azmin and 40% for Rafizi, who runs Invoke Malaysia, a party insider had said.
PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail previously denied that there were factions within the party, saying it was simply part of the democratic process. This has been the general sentiment of most PKR leaders, including Tian Chua.
Tian Chua added he had not yet decided if he would be contesting in the party polls and whether he would defend his current post or go for a new post.
Rafizi, the former Pandan MP, has obtained an exemption from the Registrar of Societies to remain as an office bearer despite a criminal conviction hanging over his head.