Reconciliation talks saving Najib from detractors?

Rafizi Ramli

(TMI) – Pakatan Rakyat’s offer of reconciliation talks with rival Barisan Nasional to resolve seething racial and economic problems could have helped Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak fight off detractors who want him out.

A top leader in Pakatan speculates that the offer for talks to find a common solution to the rising inflation rate, and crime and ethnic strife has helped Najib beat back a faction in Umno led by Malay supremacists.

At the same time, said PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli, the “Kajang move”, though unpopular, may have further strengthened Najib’s ability to convince Umno to start reconciliation talks with Pakatan.

Rafizi is an architect of the “Kajang move” to get opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim elected into the Selangor legislature. Anwar will then be poised to take over as Menteri Besar.

Rafizi based his assessment on Najib’s position within Umno, where the embattled president is facing moves to force him out, and on how Najib agreed to the idea of reconciliation talks soon after the Kajang move was announced.

“Anwar has been consistent since the beginning (about reconciliation talks). It’s not unity government. It’s let leave political mileage out of certain political decisions.

“But there was an impasse. Najib was dilly-dallying; he was watching his back all the time. I dare say that the Kajang move provided him with the grounds to go back to Umno and say that things are changing.

“To tell them that if we ignore the call for reconciliation we will be seen as out of touch with the public because Pakatan is taking this issue seriously,” Rafizi said in an interview with The Malaysian Insider.