Selangor PKR yet to endorse Anwar for president, Rafizi claims

Yiswaree Palansamy
Rafizi Ramli is greeted by supporters at PKR’s 20th anniversary celebration of the Reformasi movement in Shah Alam September 21, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara

SHAH ALAM, Sept 22 — Rafizi Ramli yesterday claimed that Selangor PKR has yet to issue a letter of support to back Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for the party presidency.

At PKR’s 20th anniversary of the Reformasi movement here, the former Pandan MP said other state PKR chapters had already issued statements supporting Anwar for the uncontested position, except Selangor.

“But you see for yourselves, ladies and gentlemen, other people agreed. Other states agreed. Terengganu issued a statement saying they support, Negri Sembilan supports, Federal Territories supports, Perlis supports, Pahang supports.

“Until today, Selangor did not issue a statement of support,” the PKR deputy presidential candidate said in a speech at the De Palma Hotel here.

“It’s not like we all don’t support. Many of the members support, but the Selangor PKR leadership now — go check the record. Until now, the statement supporting Datuk Seri Anwar’s decision to contest the president’s post has not been issued,” he added.

Rafizi also lamented that people were quick to chastise him for being outspoken on party matters, but he stood firm on this claim, reiterating that no such letter was issued by Selangor PKR.

He said that its deputy chief, Zuraida Kamaruddin, however, was able to question Anwar’s decision to contest the Port Dickon by-election instead.

Economic Affairs Minister, Gombak MP and Bukit Antarabangsa state assemblyman Datuk Seri Azmin Ali is the Selangor PKR head. Rafizi is running against the incumbent PKR deputy president in the party election.

Almost 20 years after PKR was formed in 1999 on the back of the “Reformasi” movement, Anwar finally ditched the “Ketua Umum” (de facto leader) label after he won the presidency uncontested on August 5.

Anwar took over from his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who has been party president since the founding of PKR.

He held the unelected position of PKR de facto leader since the party’s inception in 1999, as imprisonment in two sodomy cases prevented him from holding office.

Anwar is free to actively participate in politics again after a royal pardon following the general election in May that Pakatan Harapan (PH) won.

In his speech, Rafizi also explained why the de facto leader label was ditched for the party president.

He said that the idea came about as some were insulting Anwar by pointing out that he was neither the president, nor the deputy president of the party he started, therefore lacking a strong command of power.

The former Pandan MP said that the arrangement was also important to secure Anwar’s passage to become prime minister.

“I told Datuk Seri, don’t take this lightly. Just because we have now won, don’t think your route to reach Putrajaya is already secured, because we have seen it too many times.

“Enough of what that has happened. He has taken it for too long. For 20 years, he went in and out of prison. He has sacrificed too much until we became the biggest party. We want him to become the prime minister, not because we are obsessed, but we are confident he can make the best prime minister for this nation,” Rafizi said.

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