Today The Rembau Times finally issues our choice for PKR Deputy President.
The answer is Azmin. Actually, it is an obvious choice.
To understand our thinking, we have to consider the strengths and weakness of both candidates.
First, the challenger – Rafizi Ramli.
To be honest, the only reason we had delayed from making our call is because we had secretly wanted Rafizi to be the choice. After all, Rafizi Ramli campaigned tirelessly in GE 14, touring the whole of Malaysia in his truck, even though he knew that immediately after the election, he could very well be thrown in jail.
Rafizi also displayed excellent organisation capabilities and through his Invoke platform, he was spot on in predicting the massive change that would drown UMNO/BN. In fact, I think Invoke became such a powerful psychological weapon against UMNO/BN that some of their MPs were very afraid when Parliament was dissolved and decided to give up or ‘mengalah.’
Not only that, Rafizi Ramli even had his own Hindi song! Beat that!
So, even though Rafizi Ramli is not a push-over in terms of his candidacy. In fact, we would have supported him if he campaigned on offering fresh ideas to propel Malaysia forward and strengthen the Ringgit.
But he disqualified himself in my opinion because of this fixation with Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim! As one of the dominant party is Government, PKR can no longer be governed like a ‘cult.’ It is just not logical, and having a Number Two who cannot think independently. UMNO bloggers are now saying that Anwar Ibrahim will be take the Prime Minister-ship on the strength of UMNO MP support. I think Anwar can do better, like making an argument that he is needed to help stabilise the Ringgit. This is because attempting to storm Parliament like that will mean the end of Pakatan Harapan and a return of Kiky the Cat, #MalaysianOfficial1 and Mrs Mah to Sri Perdana.
It is about time that we get rid of this cult of personality and ensure that the function of the Number Two is to challenge the Number One. This is especially if the President is at risk of going off the rails, which could easily happen if he is only surrounded by ‘yes men’. Previously when Najib was Prime Minister, people decided to humiliate themselves thinking that he is right all the time and Ketua Bahagians, Attorney Generals and countless leaders came out defending Najib eventhough the negative perception was incredibly strong. Leaders should know that they have to behave responsibly and if they ‘mess up’, the Number Two will dispatch them to the political grarveyard.
The second reason is the negative tone of Rafizi’s campaign.
I will be the first to admit that I am not fond of Azmin Ali, but I am not against him either. But you have to admire that when Azmin was in charge of Selangor as Menteri Besar and UMNO/BN was totally destroyed in the state. Totally! So if you want any proof that Azmin had some experience running the job when it mattered, you just have to read the electoral scoreboard: Pakatan Harapan : 51. Dan Lain Lain: 4.
Thus, I do not see the need for Rafizi to hammer Azmin Ali and campaign negatively. He could have campaigned positively and The Rembau Times would have supported him. Actually, if this was as an isolated incident, then it is a ‘one-off’ but Rafizi has the crazy habit of issuing statements without thinking carefully. He basically will sound off what Anwar is thinking or thinks what Anwar is thinking without considering whether it makes sense or not.
So with that, we have to issue our support for Azmin Ali. This is very reluctant because Azmin has failed as Minister of Economic Affairs to chart a course to stabilise the Ringgit, a point that we are extremely upset. However, hopefully he will find his feet but in the mean time, Azmin Ali is the choice for Deputy President of PKR!