Anwar will convince ‘stubborn’ Rafizi and Nurul Izzah to return

PKR president says they are the leaders with the character to become successors of the party leadership.

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim will try and convince leaders such as Nurul Izzah Anwar and Rafizi Ramli, who have chosen to step back from active politics, to return.

In an interview with Mingguan Malaysia, Anwar said that they were the type of leaders with the character to become successors of the party leadership.

“We will convince them to come back to the struggle and our party’s platform.

“Even though they are quite stubborn but I respect their principle,” he told the weekend edition of Utusan Malaysia.

Both Nurul Izzah and Rafizi quit their party posts amid intensified infighting in PKR.

In December 2018, Nurul Izzah resigned as the PKR vice-president, a post she won with the highest votes in party polls.

Rafizi, who was critical of then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had also flown under the radar except when he challenged Azmin Ali for the PKR deputy president position in the party election.

He was narrowly defeated but was reappointed as a PKR vice-president. However, Rafizi chose to retire from active politics in 2019.

Since then, Azmin had defected to Bersatu, bringing with him an exodus of PKR leaders and members.

Anwar said Rafizi was “disappointed” by party leaders who were more interested in profiting at the expense of the party.

“Rafizi wasn’t really interested in contesting the position of deputy president but he saw something wrong with the party.

“After Pakatan Harapan won power, there was a group that sidelined good people and appointed those they shouldn’t have,” he added.

The Harapan government collapsed after Azmin teamed up with Bersatu to take over Putrajaya with the opposition in February last year.

The defections, including many senior leaders, left PKR reeling.

Anwar maintained that “traitors” will not succeed.

Dismissing a suggestion that he had failed in his ambition to become the prime minister, Anwar said “not yet”.

The opposition leader said he is still the Harapan prime ministerial candidate and will take up the mantle if given the opportunity by the people.

However, the 74-year-old Port Dickson MP acknowledged that he may have to give up his ambition to become prime minister if he reaches a certain age.

“Can’t still be wanting to become prime minister at 95,” he was quoted as saying, in an apparent jibe at Mahathir.

On PKR’s recent engagement with a particular Umno faction, Anwar said it was not so much about taking over the government but due to a common interest for the country.

Anwar added that he had met with a number of Umno leaders and the outcome were “positive” but did not mention names.

“There have been discussions, unofficial ones with party leaders. They’re just preliminary but I could sense they were positive.

“We understood them better and they understood us better,” he was quoted as saying.


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