Blunt but won’t betray the party or Anwar.
Newly-elected PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli today reassured party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that he would never leave the party, but also insisted he has no plans to tone down his outspoken manner.
He said that while he had a reputation for being blunt, he would not betray the party or Anwar as his predecessor Datuk Seri Azmin Ali did in 2020 with the “Sheraton Move”.
“I may be outspoken, but I am not Azmin Ali…I don’t sweet-talk you and then, stab you in the back.
“I never promised to break down prison walls when Anwar was jailed…but I travelled across the country to campaign for you all to win as I knew only with Pakatan Harapan winning could Anwar be freed,” he said in his speech at the PKR national congress today.
Rafizi was referring to Azmin’s speech in 2011, who said that PKR would break into prison to save Anwar if the latter was put in jail.
Rafizi’s remarks were well received by the crowd and Anwar was also seen clapping.
Explaining his position, Rafizi confessed that he was blunt and direct in his criticism because he did not harbour any ambitions.
He said he didn’t join politics and PKR to get positions, but hopes that he can be free to speak his mind.
“After a long time, I met Anwar last year and he asked if I would take a position in Putrajaya if there was a chance. I didn’t answer as I am not interested.
“When Pakatan won in 2018, I also did not take up any position. I do not regret this as it is my choice.
“If I criticise the party, I do it because we have a responsibility to the voters and the party. That’s my promise. I will always talk like this,” he added.
Rafizi said that all his criticism, although stinging, is for the party to win and not because he intends to challenge Anwar, contrary to what some had suggested.
“It is not a question of whether I want the position. The fact is we need to find a way to make the best offer to the people because when the people have confidence in us, then our president could be the prime minister.
“I did not seek to break up the party. It is to find the best way for our leadership to return as before and so that people will be convinced that Anwar Ibrahim can change their future,” he said.
Rafizi also said he and Anwar are close, as they knew each other since he was 17 years old and his wedding ceremony was even held at the Port Dickson MP’s house.
“I want to take this opportunity to speak directly with the president so this will be witnessed by delegates and Malaysians who are watching,” he added.
Earlier, Rafizi said he was unfazed over remarks that his outspokenness could split the party.
“It means finding the best way, the best leadership so we can be more aggressive and creative after this.
“I know many people are uncomfortable with my ways because I’m a corporate man. If you don’t do work, I won’t give you a bonus,” said Rafizi.
The former Pandan MP had been on hiatus since Pakatan Harapan won the 2018 general election.
He had insisted that he did not regret his decision to put politics on the backburner, and had only returned to active politics due to the party’s drubbing in the Johor state election earlier this year.
Upon his return however, he called on party members to start prepping for the next general election which is expected within the next few months.