Rafizi only achieved half his mission, failed to place Anwar under ‘siege’

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

COMMENTARY, July 18 — Rafizi Ramli’s success in changing half of Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) top leadership to young leaders in the just concluded party election may not help to rebrand the 25-year old party.

The new PKR deputy president won handsomely against old guard Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail but missed just one step to have a bigger voice in charting the party’s future.

With party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim still in a solid position to call the shots on who should contest the coming general election (GE) and the GEs after that, Rafizi has no choice but to play second fiddle or simply put, play the role of assistant to the head.

Rafizi entered the party battleground with guns blazing but unfortunately he missed the real target.

The crux of the matter is that it is still Anwar and the old guards who stood the ground from 1998 till now battling the political war despite being battered and bruised.

Rafizi entered the game with new approaches: forget about selling Anwar as prime minister or poster boy because his popularity has waned and forget the big tent approach. Instead, get the youth and rural voters.

The rural voters had at one time loved Anwar for his oratorical skills and courage to fight for the eradication of poverty but this is also lost.

Rafizi may have great ideas but he has to push fast and deep to achieve his objectives as young voters have changed a lot and rural voters have faced a lot of suffering in the past three years.

For a start, the party lacks machinery in rural areas and has not been touching base with the youth.

Rafizi, in his position now, cannot shoot from the hip like a cowboy but he has to play tai chi to get the support of his president and the old guards.

It is no easy task because he failed to secure the overwhelming majority in the leadership line-up to place Anwar “under siege.”

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