Stop the Anwar ‘apple polishing’, says Rafizi

(The Star) – The new PKR leadership must focus on winning the hearts of the people, and stop being “apple-polishers” to party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, said party deputy president Rafizi Ramli (pic).

“What’s important to the party and the new leadership is not to try ‘bodek’ (apple polishing) Anwar or even try to defend him.

“Anwar is Anwar Ibrahim and he does not need to be defended.

“What has to be done is to appeal to the people and try to win,” said Rafizi when met by reporters outside of the Ideal Convention Centre (IDCC) in Shah Alam on Saturday (July 16) afternoon.

Rafizi also said the new party leadership must find a new formula or policies that appeals to the voters.

“For example, if PKR isn’t really successful among youths, then we have to find a way around that.

“The role of getting youth votes didn’t involve Anwar and I felt there’s no issues. Because in the end, we must win,” said Rafizi.

Without naming anyone, Rafizi said one of the main issues currently plaguing the party was the presence of a few individuals around Anwar who constantly protects him.

“They felt they must defend Anwar to the point that no facts can be seen to touch on Anwar. It cannot be that way,” added Rafizi.

Meanwhile, Rafizi said the new PKR leadership is set to be finalised in the coming two weeks, adding that it’s time for the party to find new ways to combine the strengths of all Opposition parties.

However, Rafizi said the PKR leadership must not sideline the concerns by core Pakatan Harapan supporters over possible cooperation among all Opposition parties in the 15th General Election.

“There are two considerations that cannot be rejected according to the sentiments of PKR and Pakatan grassroots.

“If the sentiment translates to an open rejection of the ‘big-tent’, and we still go ahead, how do we convince supporters?

“We must also scrutinise every effort to bring parties or other groups into our fold. But, at the same time, we must see if there are negative effects.

“We must scrutinise every effort to bring other parties or groups onboard, and we also need to see if there will be negative effects,” added Rafizi.

There have been heated debates among party grassroots on whether Opposition parties should cooperate with Perikatan Nasional to ensure straight fights against Barisan Nasional in GE15.

Anwar had previously said that cooperation between different political parties during a general election is something that should not be discounted despite party grassroots’ remaining against the idea.

Anwar had said discussions were a necessity among Pakatan coalition partners, but stressed that achieving a consensus on the topic wasn’t a form of compulsion.