PETALING JAYA: A PKR leader today came to the defence of Rafizi Ramli, after his rival for the deputy president’s contest in the coming party polls Mohamed Azmin Ali urged members to vote for those with positions in the government and not the “jobless”.
G Manivanan, the former Kapar MP who contested and lost in the Hutan Melintang state seat in the May general election, also hit out at the PKR deputy president for using a Tamil derogatory word against critics who questioned his loyalty to the party.
He said Azmin’s use of the word “podah” was unbecoming of a leader of a multiracial party, adding that it was degrading for people from the estates.
“Most of the people from the estates have chosen and become members of PKR. So do not look down on people from the estate,” he said.
Azmin yesterday rejected calls by supporters of Rafizi to prove his loyalty to PKR by vacating his Gombak seat so that party supremo Anwar Ibrahim can stand for election and make a parliamentary comeback.
“Then comes a voice from some estate or forest telling me to prove loyalty to the party.
“Podah,” the former Selangor menteri besar said, using a Tamil term which means “get lost”.
In an apparent jibe at Rafizi, the former Pandan MP who is vying for the number two post in PKR, Azmin, who is also the economic affairs minister and part of Khazanah Nasional, urged party members to choose leaders who have positions in the government and not those who are “jobless”.
But Manivanan said an “unemployed” Rafizi had a proven track record in contributing to the party.
“This unemployed had revealed secrets and misdeeds of Barisan Nasional so much so the old administration lost,” he said, referring to Rafizi’s role in exposing the National Feedlot Centre scandal not long ago.