KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 ― PKR must not lose sight of its reform-driven agenda despite winning government in the 14th general election, said candidates for the vice-presidency post.
This was the overarching sentiment of the candidates running in the PKR election, as each of them took turns to expound on the idea during a televised debate on Astro Awani.
Incumbent vice-president Shamsul Iskandar Md. Akin said the selection of PKR and Pakatan Harapan (PH) by the rakyat was due to the desire for a fair, democratic, inclusive and sustainable nation.
“After 20 years of struggling for reform, we finally achieved it. Yet we must continue to inspire confidence in the rakyat, and to ensure PKR remains the core vehicle in carrying out their wishes,” he said.
Fellow incumbent Nurul Izzah Anwar said the party can only remain relevant in the eyes of the rakyat so long as it is capable of bringing about solutions of reform.
“The party began with a tragedy on September 1998. The agenda at the time to was to ensure individual freedom and no more tyranny.
“Should I become the vice-president for the third time, I will work to prepare the party so that it can be future-proof (kalis masa depan) It will not be easy but as long as we hold to our ideals I am confident it is possible,” she said.
Current vice-president Chua Tian Chang recounted how the party and its supporters could once be found by the roadside calling out loudly for reform.
“It was then regarded as unrealistic demands, and some viewed us as a voiceless mosquito party within Parliament focusing on single issues.
“Yet with the reaffirmation by the rakyat, we must now live up to their expectations and general aspirations. In translating those into concrete government policies, the burden of leadership lies even higher and heavier upon us,” he said.
First-time contender and PKR parliamentary whip Datuk Johari Abdul said reforms must continue in its totality.
“Witnessing PKR’s establishment in 1999, we saw many joining us from all over, including BN members. They came together with the hope to see the country change.
“We cannot allow the reforms to occur in piecemeal. In my capacity as whip and the Backbenchers Club chairman, I wish to pursue these changes, since we are certainly aware of the need to do so after 61 years of BN (Barisan Nasional) governance,” he said.