PETALING JAYA: A PKR MP has bemoaned the lack of support for party vice-president Rafizi Ramli, who announced today that he was quitting politics, when he was charged and subsequently acquitted under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia).
Wong Chen said that when the former Pandan MP was acquitted by the Shah Alam High Court on Nov 15, “less than 10 MPs congratulated him in the PH Whatsapp group”.
“Not turning up for his trial to support him is forgivable but (being) u nwilling to type a simple message to congratulate Rafizi for his acquittal, for fear of upsetting powerful politicians, is a new low.
“I think a valid reason for his departure from politics is to rid himself of the company of ungrateful opportunists,” the Subang MP said in a Facebook post.
Earlier today, Rafizi announced his exit from politics to concentrate on his start-up project, saying he is at a stage in life where he “needs to learn”.
Paying tribute to his “dear friend”, Wong Chen described him as a major contributor to Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the May 9 polls and the force behind PKR-linked think tank Invoke.
He said Rafizi had to endure multiple court cases after the last general election, which drained his already low personal finances.
He also had to struggle to keep Invoke alive with the help of a few of his closest friends, he said.
Wong Chen said Rafizi was vilified when he spoke out against Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad last year, with some saying he was “too clever for his own good”.
He also noted that while Rafizi did not stand in GE14 because of his Bafia conviction, he was not even appointed to a senator’s post while those who “contributed almost nothing” took up ministerial posts.
“I don’t think he wants a reward, but to be recognised and thanked for his momentous work is fair,” he said, adding that unlike other PH politicians who had their criminal cases dropped immediately, Rafizi was “hounded” by Putrajaya for another year-and-a-half.
“Bear in mind that in the Bafia case, Rafizi benefited absolutely nothing financially and had in fact acted as a courageous whistle-blower,” he said.
He said this was why he did not try to dissuade Rafizi from retiring from politics.
“Yet I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness to see the best and most hardworking politician of this generation leave the political stage,” he said.