No time to lose: Rafizi to prepare for GE15 as new PKR No 2

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PETALING JAYA: After securing the PKR deputy president’s post in the recently concluded party polls, Rafizi Ramli has pledged to hit the ground running on the party’s preparations for the looming 15th General Election (GE15).

The former Pandan MP said he will immediately organise a meeting with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to kick-start the party’s preparations for the polls, which he expects will be called in just a matter of months.

“PKR will return strong when all of its members from the grassroots level to the president move together with one strategy, and carry out their respective duties effectively,” Rafizi said on Monday (May 30) in a lengthy Facebook post.

Rafizi paid tribute to his campaign team, which consisted of grassroots members.

“They are the ones who campaigned tirelessly across the country and succeeded in uniting the party in one movement – which is being ready to go into GE15 without compromising our principles and dignity as a reformist party,” he added.

In thanking PKR members for the polls result, Rafizi spoke about PKR’s history since it was formed in 1999, up to its success in GE14 in 2018.

Rafizi also said people had high expectations of PKR and Pakatan Harapan after voting them in as the previous government.

“The people are also aware that Umno and Barisan Nasional are grappling with corruption scandals.

“The people also knew Perikatan Nasional and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) were just a political pact chasing for power, without any major differences from Umno and Barisan.

“Therefore, it is unfair if the people were forced to vote for PKR and Pakatan just because the other choices were worse,” he said.

Rafizi then reflected on his exit from politics in 2018, saying that it allowed him to comprehend the feelings of regular voters.

“They are more in tune about the failure of the system and the structural issues in the country,” added Rafizi.

He said the reality of voters’ demands had changed, as the people wanted smarter and more effective leaders and ministers.

“It’s no longer about PKR/Pakatan being seen as relatively cleaner, we need to be smarter and efficient as administrators and future ministers,” he added.

As a party that sought to remain relevant in influencing the political landscape, Rafizi said PKR must be confident about fulfilling the wishes of the people.

“If we fail to convince voters this time, it means our efforts are lame, it is not the people who aren’t being smart.

“We need to respect the decision of the people, until they are more confident with our ideas and abilities.

“That will only happen if we become a party that’s smarter, aggressive, smooth, efficient and led by a younger leadership,” said Rafizi.

He secured the deputy presidency after garnering 67,895 votes compared to Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, who received 48,797 votes as of 8.30pm on Sunday (May 29).

The nearly 20,000-vote lead put him at the forefront of the race for the party deputy presidency, though the official results will only be announced next month.

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