PKR polls: Azmin confident of retaining No 2 post

PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali says there should not be friction because of the party polls.

SHAH ALAM: PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali is ready to accept any outcome in the party polls but says he is confident of retaining his post.

Azmin, who is defending his current party position against his opponent Rafizi Ramli, said this was based on current sentiments and support.

“Do not say what if (I lose in this party polls). We pray for victory. I have already said. This is a family election. Let us not have friction with one another because of the jostling for positions.

“I am confident party members will make the best choice. I am ready to accept any decision by the members, because it is a process we must respect, based on their maturity to decide.

“But at the same time, God willing, with the mood and support I have, I can say, God willing, I will continue to be entrusted with this position, and will do my job in a good and responsible manner,” he said during a question and answer session at the Bicara Minda talk organised by Sinar Harian here today.

Azmin was responding to a question from the floor on what would happen if he loses in the PKR polls.

Azmin is caught in a neck and neck battle with Rafizi, who has of late been announcing results from the states that had voted which showed him as having a slim lead over the incumbent.

During the talk, Azmin, who is the economic affairs minister, said he was not shocked at the intensity of the party polls.

He explained that since PKR was now on the winning side, there was a flurry of people who wanted to join the party and jostle for positions.

He pointed out that 20 years ago, nobody wanted to be part of the party, and there were those who were afraid of shaking hands with him.

“The stigma (against PKR) was strong. Now we have won. Don’t mention the top posts in the party. There is even a queue to be a village head.

“I look at this positively, where there are more people who want to contribute to the development of PKR.

“We also welcome young people to join us. They may not have been there in 1998 (when Reformasi started) and will not understand the suffering we went through going up against a government that was so strong.

“They need to learn from the veteran leaders in the party on how hard it was to develop the party. Don’t bring down what we have built for 20 years,” he said.

Azmin cautioned against getting too caught up in the excitement of the party polls and urged leaders to avoid friction.

He said they should instead focus on fulfilling the aspirations of the people.

The Gombak MP said the mandate given by the people in the last general election was huge, that it took a lot from the people to break down the walls of a brutal regime, and to reject the narrow politics of racism built in the last 60 years.

Azmin said despite this, the people changed the political landscape in a peaceful and orderly manner.

“Don’t demolish what we have built. We need to protect the unity and harmony in the party. It’s a family election.

“As a government and political party, we need to fulfil the aspirations of the people. They support us not for us to fight or be divided, nor did they support us to just defeat Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN).

“But, they want the new government to serve them well. As a Cabinet minister, as well as other leaders, we need to carry out this responsibility and work hard at doing our jobs well.

“Don’t be so caught up in the excitement of the polls. Just focus on doing our work well, fulfil the aspirations of the people. We can then defend the election victory in the years to come,” he said.