No cracks in PKR: Rafizi

JULAU, Sarawak: It may seem like the toughest party elections ever for PKR, with many expressing fear of cracks in the party and disunity among the members, but Mohd Rafizi Ramli (pix), a candidate for deputy president, and his side do not see any harm to the party.

“We are reformists. We have been in a lot of crises for 20 years and I don't think this election will lead to cracks in the party, at least for my friends and I,” he said when met by reporters today at the Julau Sports Complex, the e-voting centre for the Julau PKR division here.

Rafizi is challenging incumbent Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali for the post. Azmin is now 2,600 votes ahead.

Rafizi said that if there are any cracks, he is confident that PKR president-elect Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be able to mend the ties among the members after the elections.

On the PKR membership in Julau, which has become a controversial issue, he said the 13,000 members were approved by the chairman of the Membership Review Committee, Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar, who is in Azmin's camp.

“When Larry Sng and his supporters joined PKR, it was Azmin who became close to them, not us. We have never questioned the membership as it was rightfully done in the party.

“The one who pushed the Majlis Pimpinan Pusat (Central Leadership Council) to accept the bulk membership drive was (PKR Women's chief) Zuraida Kamaruddin. This became an issue only after Julau decided to choose me,” said Rafizi, who said he sympathised with Sng for having come under a lot of pressure due to the matter.

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The number of members in Julau is said to have increased from 603 on June 26 to 13,000 the next day.

Rafizi said that about 3,000 to 4,000 of these members turned up to vote and added that he is confident that the result will favour him. — Bernama