PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Azmin Ali has hit out at his challenger for the PKR deputy president’s post, Rafizi Ramli, whom he said was a “toddler” when Reformasi started in 1998.
Breaking his silence over the contest where he is seeking a third term as the PKR No.2, Azmin said he had stood by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and stayed loyal to the incoming president’s struggle from the very day the latter was sacked from the government in 1998.
Anwar’s sacking led to the Reformasi movement and the birth of PKR.
“This is the one who took all the beatings and soaked in the water fired from the authorities’ water cannon.
“This is the person who went through all the tests and hardships to stand for and defend Anwar,” Azmin said in defending his struggles in the party.
He was speaking at the opening of the Selangor PKR annual divisional meeting here yesterday.
Azmin said when he was arrested for going to the streets to defend Anwar, no one stood by him.
“I looked left and right and there was nobody with me.
“I spent eight days in the police 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.
Azmin, who is also Economic Affairs Minister, said he had been building 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,” he said.
Azmin also lambasted those who suggested that he vacate his Gombak parliamentary seat to pave the way for Anwar’s return to Parliament as proof of his loyalty to the PKR president-elect.
“Does that mean those who do not offer their seats are not loyal?” he asked.
While Azmin has put up a relatively low-key campaign, Rafizi has barnstormed the country with senior party leaders on the platform that he wants to be the No.2 to ensure that Anwar will be appointed the eighth prime minister.
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