Anwar not beyond reproach, Saifuddin tells Rafizi

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Anwar unperturbed by Rafizi’s criticisms.

PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is not beyond reproach by leaders within the party, says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

“There are some saying that Anwar cannot be criticised and that is a very inaccurate view.

“Any criticisms must be made in civility. You can criticise the teacher, but manners must be there.

“You can criticise your parents or leaders, but manners must be there,” said Saifuddin during his winding-up speech as the outgoing party secretary-general at the PKR national congress at the Ideal Convention Centre (IDCC) in Shah Alam on Sunday (July 17).

Saifuddin was responding to incoming party deputy president Rafizi Ramli, who told reporters on the sidelines of the PKR national congress on Saturday (July 16) that leaders around Anwar should stop being “apple polishers” to the party president.

Commenting further on the matter, Saifuddin also said it was normal to respect leaders who are older and experienced.

“I’m 59 and Anwar is 75. We respect leaders because they had also sacrificed for the party,” added Saifuddin.

Saifuddin then recalled an experience he had with Anwar, when the duo attended a forum in Egypt and the PKR president was invited to deliver a speech among dignitaries and world leaders.

“I saw myself how Anwar is respected.

“PKR leaders also respect Anwar, but it is labelled as ‘bodek’ (apple polishing). This is very untrue,” said Saifuddin.

Saifuddin also said there would be those who would incite rivalry between him and Rafizi.

“If anyone wants to pit me against Rafizi, please go ahead. That will never erode my sense of respect towards Rafizi,” said Saifuddin.

Saifuddin had lost the deputy president post to Rafizi during the party polls, with the results made official earlier this month.

“The party polls have been concluded and now Rafizi has big responsibilities. If we can unite, trust me, the national polls will be ours,” added Saifuddin.

After Rafizi’s remarks on Saturday (July 16), Anwar responded, saying that he is unperturbed by Rafizi’s criticisms, but reminded the newly-elected deputy president to toe the party line.

On Friday (July 15), Rafizi also said a recent survey conducted by Invoke found that the Port Dickson MP’s popularity is waning.

PKR’s three-day national congress, which began on Friday (July 15), will end on Sunday (July 17). – The Star