KUALA LUMPUR – PKR members have placed their trust in party leaders, said Datuk Seri Azmin Ali when rejecting Rafizi Ramli’s call for the former’s continued courtship of PAS to be decided by ordinary members.

The PKR deputy president also dismissed the former secretary-general’s views as simply an individual’s sentiment, after Rafizi said that Azmin’s actions were causing fissures in the party.

Azmin, who is also Selangor mentri besar, stressed that party members already demonstrated their support for PKR’s leaders through their votes both during internal polls.

“To me, Rafizi’s statement is a personal opinion that was not discussed by the party. Any organisations will have differing opinions.

“However, good leadership means having the wisdom and discipline to manage these opinions without revealing anything to the media,” said Azmin, in apparent reference to Rafizi’s remarks published yesterday.

Azmin was speaking after signing three agreements for post-closure maintenance works for five years with Worldwide Holdings Berhad to manage three landfills in Selangor.

When asked if he has met Rafizi recently to discuss such matters, Azmin said party leaders regularly interact during meetings and events.

“He’s my vice-president. I do see him during party events or party meetings which is (almost) everyday. We already have the mechanisms and methods to discuss (the PKR-PAS issue) but it was never brought up with me,” he said.

Yesterday, Rafizi called for a special PKR congress so that ordinary members may decide if PKR should continue to seek negotiations with PAS, saying the insistence on courting the Islamist party was causing a rift in PKR.

The Pandan MP suggested that PKR members should be allowed to judge whether political expediency was more important that the party’s principles, among others.

Selayang MP Willam Leong last week resigned from PKR’s political bureau in protest of the continued efforts to court PAS.

Azmin is among holdouts in Pakatan Harapan who insist that PAS must be brought into the Opposition fold to prevent multi-cornered fights in the general election that may split the Opposition vote.

PAS severed ties with PKR earlier this year and is openly hostile to Pakatan Harapan parties, with the Selangor chapter of the Islamist party threatening to contest against Azmin in his Gombak constituency.

Allies DAP and Amanah have both expressed misgivings about Azmin’s continued pursuit of PAS, but to no avail.

MEANWHILE, according to Mkini:

Afif: Rafizi’s call for special congress ‘height of absurdity’

PKR Youth deputy chief Dr Afif Bahardin said there was no need for PKR to hold a special congress to decide on cooperation with PAS during the 14th general election.

In a statement, Afif called party vice-president Rafizi Ramli’s suggestion for such a congress, especially when the general election is just around the corner, the “height of absurdity.”

“This effort is also endorsed by the imprisoned Anwar Ibrahim.

“Rafizi may not be aware of this since he has not attended political bureau meetings for a very long time now,” Afif added.

He was responding to a statement made by Rafizi, who said that a special congress was necessary to clear up confusion among the party’s grassroots, who may be split over the decision to hold discussions with PAS.

Calling Rafizi’s claim that the negotiations with PAS are the decision of a faction led by Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali as “wildly inaccurate,” Afif insisted that the decision was instead made by PKR’s political bureau, chaired by party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

He also took to task “insinuations and deliberate ambiguities” in Rafizi’s statement that suggested PAS would join the Pakatan Harapan coalition, maintaining that negotiations were only to increase the opposition’s chances of winning GE14.

“The negotiations are solely to prevent three-cornered contests during the general election and increase the chances of winnability for Keadilan and the opposition parties,” Afif said.

He added that Rafizi should instead have suggested that a central leadership council meeting be called on the matter.

– Malay Mail