SHAH ALAM, July 15 — The 16th PKR national congress here today drew tears from veteran leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as she entreated delegates to set aside their petty differences and focus on the big electoral test in the coming 15th general election.
The advisory council chairman dabbed at her eyes as she opened the congress for the women’s wing here this morning.
“Only God knows my love for the party. In a party election, there will be those who win and lose in any contest. That is normal,” she said in an emotive address to the women delegates
Dr Wan Azizah who was propelled into politics and headed the Opposition for many years before her husband and current PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim returned described the many times she had been a “loser” in life, and spoke of the need to rise again to strengthen the party.
“We are not enemies. We are in the same party. If you want to leave, go ahead. Do not be an enemy from within.
“Don't destroy what we have built together,” she said, referring to PKR’s recent internal election that sparked a number of rifts over allegations of manipulation and vote-buying.
She reminded them of the need to be united for GE15, and pled with the delegates to be “magnanimous” as they work towards a common goal.
“Now is the time to gather our strength and be consistent without struggle.
“We want party members to be open and magnanimous. They must be willing to have dialogue and negotiations,” she said.
Speaking to reporters later, Dr Wan Azizah said that the party needs to make a collective approach with the rest of its allies in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
Asked to comment on the “big tent” approach pushed by incoming deputy president Rafizi Ramli to include parties outside PH, Dr Wan Azizah said it will depend on whether or not doing so will boomerang on PKR later.
“If they want the ‘big tent’ but want to destroy our) tent, then I don’t think it’s necessary,” she said.
Rafizi, the former Pandan MP seeking a return to Parliament, has called for a united Opposition front to go toe-to-toe with its old political enemy the Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalition that is back in power despite being defeated in GE14.