SHAH ALAM, June 17 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has today downplayed remarks made by Rafizi Ramli earlier today on the subject of popularity, saying his incoming deputy's tone may be more in line with PKR's leadership once he is officially appointed.
The PKR president said both of them have met and discussed their differences, concluding afterwards that they will need to focus on the common political enemy in the 15th general election at the end of the day.
"I know him and he has a positive attitude and he's playing his role. Because the one that you interviewed is the 'benched' Rafizi, now Rafizi is in the leadership so he has to realise [that] because most of the tasks will be given to him.
"He will be given the responsibility and it's not Anwar or other leaders," he told reporters at the sidelines of the PKR National Congress here.
Earlier today, Rafizi had said that attracting voters in the next general election should be the priority rather than concern about party president Anwar's popularity.
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 the 14th general election.
Anwar further denied any rifts within the party, saying he has met the supporters of both Rafizi, and PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution who lost the race for the deputy president post.
Anwar said he was not deterred by any provocation, and believes that members of the party still trust and support him as the party's president.
"But I believe as an intelligent person and to act intelligently once you have pursued the position you will then have to deal as a party leader. Whether it's his decision or my decision, once we decide, we will defend it," he added.
Commenting on division leaders being vocal during the congress, Anwar said that this is the uniqueness of PKR as a party that does not subscribe to extreme feudalism, and is always open to criticism.