KUANTAN: PKR deputy president hopeful Rafizi Ramli continued to attack his opponent Datuk Seri Azmin Ali by accusing the latter of failing to raise funds for the party’s GE14 campaign.
In his speech in front of Pahang PKR members, Rafizi took potshots at Azmin without naming him, claiming that the former Selangor mentri besar did not use his influence to raise funds for the general election campaign.
He said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had to take out a mortgage on their house to help pay for the deposits of PKR candidates.
“We set up Invoke to get direct help from the people but the funds were only channelled to candidates who had probability of winning. For those seats that couldn’t be won, the party had to shoulder the campaign funds.
“It is not that we are taking money from Selangor but we just asked him to do his duty to find funds in a sincere manner like us. But the money never came.
“Anwar and Kak Wan ended up having to mortgage their house in Bukit Segambut to take out a RM4mil bank loan. It’s not even settled yet,” said Rafizi.
“The move to return Anwar to Parliament at this time is necessary to avoid a power vacuum scenario.”
He said the power transition from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Anwar was now known to the world and it would be responsible to ensure it happens in an orderly manner.
“More so since Dr Mahathir is already 93 years old. We cannot have a situation where there is a power vacuum if something were to happen to Dr Mahathir due to Anwar not being in Parliament.
“This kind of uncertainty and its cost to the people and country will be immense,” Rafizi said after attending a #Reformasi20Tahun event on Sunday night.
He said the party had to balance the people’s mood and the need for Anwar to be in Parliament at this time in view of the low turnout in the three recent by-elections.
“When we make comparisons, the benefits of this move outweigh the risks and cost,” said Rafizi.
Commenting on a related matter, Rafizi said his party colleague Tian Chua might have felt left out after not being roped in for this important decision.
Rafizi, a vice-president gunning for the PKR deputy president post in the upcoming party polls, said the plan was discussed among Anwar and several members of the party leadership.
“Tian Chua may have felt awkward because he was not involved in the process. Usually, only a few of us are involved,” he said.
Tian Chua, also a PKR vice-president, had lambasted Rafizi for announcing that a parliamentary seat would be vacated to be contested by Anwar, claiming that the matter was never discussed among the leadership.
Tian Chua claimed no one knew of the move and Rafizi’s actions had forced party president Dr Wan Azizah to confirm the matter.
Rafizi said he would not have announced something that involved Anwar and the party president without getting their approval first.
Asked whether this meant he was in Anwar’s inner circle and had the incoming president’s favour, Rafizi deflected, saying that it was difficult for him to comment on his friendship with Anwar.
“That’s for the public and the members to judge. To me, the track record speaks for itself.
“For the last seven or eight years, we were the ones who spent more time campaigning and building the party on the ground.
“It’s only natural for Anwar to spend more time with people who have access to the ground because Azmin and some other people spend more time just in Selangor,” said Rafizi.