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Rafizi Ramli said PH should get politicians who are knowledgeable on issues faced by rural areas folks to work on the ground.   — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Rafizi Ramli said PH should get politicians who are knowledgeable on issues faced by rural areas folks to work on the ground. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 — Former PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli said Pakatan Harapan (PH) has to focus on penetrating rural areas to secure Malay votes.

Online news portal Malaysiakini quoted Rafizi as saying that PH should get politicians who are knowledgeable on issues faced by rural areas folks to work on the ground.

“It is not a question of strategy, it is a question of effort.

“If you want to penetrate the rural areas, you have to get politicians who know how to move on the ground, are sincere, and want to know about rural issues, rather than shouting in Parliament.

“[…] It takes a lot more than riding on PKR and Amanah to deliver the Malay votes,” he said at the Malaysian Student Leaders’ Summit 2021.

The former Pandan MP said PH’s ruling came to an end due to ineffective leadership as the coalition banked on gaining majority instead of focusing on issues faced by the public.

“Harapan (PH) was so focused on becoming the government (again) to the point that it was completely detached and disconnected from the public.

“[…] Unfortunately, when the obsession is about getting the right number to go back to (being the) government, you would cross certain lines, and those lines include colluding with the very people you (oppose),” he said.

Rafizi was reported saying that the Opposition should reflect on its past mistakes and return to form a better functioning opposition in the next general election (GE15).

“Harapan must reflect that competence in government is as important as the ideals that you sell to the public. Had Harapan gone back to (becoming the ruling) government, it would have still failed.

“It is not enough nowadays to just sell reform ideals and say we are less corrupt than the other person. Let the public judge that.

“But if you become a government and a minister, it is incumbent upon you to actually do a proper job and competence is very important. Which is, I think, still a big question mark on both sides,” he said.

Rafizi went on a political hiatus from 2019 saying he would be focusing his work on “technological advancement.”

He however occasionally tweeted about PKR and had warned its president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim last December about “scoundrels and opportunists” that brought dangerous culture to the party and had surrounded themselves around the latter.

He still believes that Anwar is the better leader at present.

“I don’t think it is fair to put all the blame on one person as we often lose perspective of what we have achieved in the past 20 years.

“Whatever we have achieved (so far) was partly due to the principled stand he (Anwar) took in 1998; otherwise, I would not be here,” he said.

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