In a statement after the party’s election committee ratified his victory over Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, the former Pandan MP said PKR could not afford to delay its national congress for the purpose of ‘entertaining’ the grouses of several candidates who lost. — Malay Mail photo

KUALA LUMPUR (July 5): Newly elected PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli has called on rivals in the party to accept their defeat in a controversial internal poll, saying urgent preparations must be made for the impending general election.

In a statement after the party’s election committee ratified his victory over Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, the former Pandan MP said PKR could not afford to delay its national congress for the purpose of “entertaining” the grouses of several candidates who lost.

This was because a general election could be called at any time, Rafizi said, and his utmost priority was to prepare the party’s machinery and leadership for the national polls.

“As a party, we do not have much time to return to our original struggle to defend the rakyat towards forming a multiracial society that respects each other, is more empowered and guarantees a better life for all.

“My comrades and I, who have been staying silent despite the grouses from these self-interested groups, will expedite our #AyuhMalaysia campaign to present Keadilan’s vision for a better future.

“I am imploring all Keadilan members to ignore the protest caused by a handful of those who were defeated and work together with us to regain the people’s trust that Keadilan is the best choice,” he said.

In the race for deputy president, Rafizi defeated Saifuddin Nasution with a 16,668-vote majority.

Rafizi claimed that it was unfortunate that the losing side could not accept defeat, but instead continued to push for a re-election or at the very least conduct a digital audit to achieve their goals.

“Since the beginning, I have made my stance clearly to (Election) Committee chairman Zaliha Mustafa and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that the demands for a digital audit is merely a ploy by the handful who lost the recent internal polls.

“Unfortunately, they are close to Anwar and thought they could manipulate the results to ensure I will never be validated as the new deputy president.

“I have also personally stated that the party will be trapped in a game of politics of a handful while the majority within the party have made a decision which was well-received by the general public,” he said.

Singling out Anwar’s former political secretary Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak, Rafizi said the former’s motive in disputing the poll’s result was two-pronged: to alter the result so those who won will not be ratified by the party’s congress and to shape perception that the huge difference in majority was a result of manipulation en masse.

“The truth is they are unable to accept the fact that the views of the grassroot are different from what those who hang around Anwar thought.

“Issues I am raising are in line with the demands of the grassroot. That is why the poll results were similar to their sentiments where I won by 60 per cent of the popular vote and 75 per cent of all votes from various divisions nationwide,” Rafizi added.

As deputy president, Rafizi said he would first scrutinise the entirety of the digital audit process which has caused so much confusion.

He also assured action will be taken against any who have been proven to be sabotaging the party by continually criticising in an attempt to delay the ascension of the new leadership.