PETALING JAYA, 3 Sep – Datuk Seri Azmin Ali has called into question the credentials of his challenger Rafizi Ramli in the contest for PKR deputy president. Azmin suggested that the latter was just a “toddler” when the Reformasi movement started in 1998.
Making the comparison, the former Selangor Menteri Besar said he has stood by new PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim over the course of 20 years, The Star reported.
“I took all the beatings and was also soaked from the water cannon used by enforcement authorities.”
“I also underwent all the tests and hardships to stand by and defend Anwar,” the PKR deputy president said at the opening of the Perdana Selangor PKR annual divisional meeting here yesterday.
Referring to the height of the political turmoil in the country in 1998 following Anwar’s sacking as deputy prime minister, as well as his eventual arrest and conviction, Azmin added that he too was arrested for going to the streets to defend Anwar.
“I spent eight days in the lockup but some of those who were initially with me spent their time in Australia, Jakarta and London.
“And now there is this kid who was still a toddler then claiming credit for the movement,” he said, without naming Rafizi.
He also said that “the kid” only came in long after the party was already on a sound footing.
“I have been helping to build the party since the Reformasi days while the kid only came in much later.
“They don’t have the history with the struggle, they only read the history,” Azmin was quoted as saying by The Star.
He also took aim at the latest attack against him from those in the Rafizi “camp” in PKR, calling out Kapar MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid’s demand for Azmin to prove his loyalty to Anwar by vacating his parliamentary seat.
“Who is this voice from an estate or forest asking me prove my loyalty to the party and Anwar.”
“Podah!” Azmin said using the Tamil word that is popular among some Malay leaders, including Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar, when brushing off critics.
He also called for party members to stay loyal to the Reformasi struggle and not individual leaders, adding that there were some PKR MPs who were prone to “kissing hands” for political survival.
Selangor MB crisis
Meanwhile, Abdullah Sani has now taken his attacks against Azmin up a notch by claiming that a vote for Azmin in the PKR party elections would bring about a repeat of the Selangor MB crisis in 2015, alluding to Anwar’s position being under threat.
Abdullah Sani was referring to the situation which arose when the Selangor Sultan had refused to accept then PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the party’s nominee for the post of MB, replacing Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who had been sacked from the party after refusing to step down as MB.
The Selangor MB crisis had also been preceded by the much-criticised Kajang Move, said to have been a brainchild of Rafizi, to make Anwar a state assemblyman in Selangor, with the Kajang assemblyman who won the Kajang state seat in the 23013 GE stepping down.
However, following the Federal Court’s decision to uphold Anwar’s sodomy conviction in February 2015, the seat was contested by Wan Azizah instead, with a view to make her MB.