Rafizi: Anwar’s ‘loyalists’ not helping to create winnable narrative

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Loyalists dragging Anwar down.

Fresh from announcing his comeback into active politics, Rafizi Ramli has taken aim at PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s “loyalists”, whom he claimed to have failed to help create a winnable narrative for the party and Pakatan Harapan since the 14th general election.

Reflecting on PKR’s performance in the recent Johor state election, Rafizi said the party has failed to convince the people of its original narrative, shaped by factors, including consistency and commitment to offer solutions for their everyday problems.

“From the results of the Sarawak, Sabah, Malacca, and Johor elections, we can see that no matter how hard those on the ground are working, if the central narrative is weak, we will be left behind,” said the former Pandan MP.

“I pity Anwar because he has many supporters but they are not helping to create this narrative.

“Sometimes these loyalists are the ones dragging him down,” said Rafizi during a no-holds-barred two-hour discussion with Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar last night.

He was responding to questions posed by Johor PKR chief Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh as the discussion’s moderator.

Nurul Izzah has yet to formally announce her comeback plans, having resigned from her post as an elected vice-president since 2018.

Throughout the discussion, it was however implied that she would be teaming up with Rafizi in the party’s upcoming elections next month.

Rafizi said Pakatan Harapan (PH) has to convince the fence-sitters and address the plight of the people if it wants to make an impact in the general election.

He said if the people’s issues were not rectified, PH would come in behind Barisan Nasional and Perikatan Nasional.

“Our campaign now is to get the fence-sitters. We need to address the issues the people are facing,” he said.

According to Rafizi, the best way to attract the voters was to return to the formula before 2018, which was to solve the issues of the people.

“Cost of living, hikes in food prices…policies must be in place to solve all these issues. What can any party do to bring them out of this rut?”

Nurul said that it was an injustice that the PH government had fallen after just 22 months due to defections.

“But after that, it was the people who were affected. We have to listen to the people. The politicians must listen to the people.”

On what PKR could do to win voters, Nurul said the main challenge the party faced in the Johor elections was communication.

“Communicate with simple and clear messages. What was lacking was (communication via) social media.

“The message should be clear: what we are offering to help the well-being of the people. It was difficult.”

Rafizi said personality politics can no longer swing votes at the polls as the electorate has become more discerning.

“Some people in PH think that without Dr Mahathir Mohamad, we will not win. This shows they are so separated from reality on the ground and with the electorate.

“There are some in PH whose view is that politics is about creating a tsunami, where they say people would follow (a personality) just because one person is there. I disagree with this because people are not stupid.

“They (PH) do not realise that people are more concerned about wages and other sufferings,” he said.