14 December 2015

Rope in PAS or risk losing GE again...

Pakatan Harapan would need to form an electoral pact with PAS in order to grab the growing Malay fence-sitters via the Islamic party in the next general elections, said PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli.

This would be the only way for the opposition to take Putrajaya, he stressed.

Citing an independent poll ran on Dec 4 which the party is privy to, he said, at least 30 percent of Malay respondents have made up their minds to reject Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Umno, but yet to decide which opposition parties they will support.

The Pandan lawmaker, however did not reveal the pollster.

That group of fence-sitters, Rafizi said, are driven by bread and butter issues, including the goods and services tax, rather than political development.

Some are not even aware of the existence of the three-month-old PAS splinter party Amanah, he told Malaysiakini and KiniTV.

According to him, BN and the opposition obtained 53 percent and 46 percent Malay votes respectively.

PAS seen as ‘Islamic, innocent’ by Malays

Umno, PAS, and PKR each has 20 percent hardcore supporters in the Malay community, while the balance of the Malay votes come from the supporters who will make up their mind based on issues and sentiment, he said.

"Given the historical background that both Umno and PAS have been there for 60 years, the natural opposition to Umno has always been PAS. If they (the voters) reject Umno, they will fall back to PAS," he noted.

If PKR were to sever its ties with the Islamic party, then it would end any possibility of coordinating among the opposition to arrive at a straight fight against BN, which is necessary to win in the next election, warned Rafizi.

Thus, PKR would need to manage carefully its relationship and public image with PAS, which seems to be "so Islamic, innocent and very strong with the Malays", to the fence-sitters, he said.

"My caution to my fellow parties in Pakatan Harapan: A confrontational approach to PAS will allow room for either Umno or (any) irresponsible party to twist and turn this around to paint Pakatan Harapan as anti-Malay and anti-islam," he said.

The undecided Malay voters will have a clearer picture by July 2016 after Pakatan Harapan signs its coalition agreement and reveals major public policies on welfare, as well as plans to address insecurity of Malays and the country's economic direction, according to Rafizi.

Non-Malays asked to give two years

Pakatan Harapan would be able to convert the support of the undecided Malays and would be in a good position to take on BN in two years’ time, claimed Rafizi

He therefore urged non-Malays to stick with PKR for the next two years.

This interview came amid the negative perspective and mistrust built among its allies and supporters - particularly non-Malays - for continuing to cooperate with PAS despite the break-up of Pakatan Rakyat coalition in June.

Also present was PKR treasurer Tan Yee Kew, strategy director Sim Tze Tzin, and its youth wing secretary-general Chang Lih Kang.

This has forced the party to engage with non-Malays, first with Chinese media and the community, to explain its approaches. PKR will continue to explain to Malay and Indian community and media.

The matter, if left without any explanation, would cause a polarisation in politics, where PAS will fall back to its comfortable Malay-Muslim vote base, while DAP will focus on Chinese-based issues, he said.

"The final outcome of this is that we will miss chance of (taking over) Putrajaya," he said, adding PKR's parliamentary seat would be reduced to 15, while the Islamic party and DAP would secure a good result.

"I am appealing to my friends, especially from the Chinese community, to give PKR and Amanah the space and time without being confrontational unnecessarily to PAS," he stressed.

'Or Amanah will be wiped out'

He urged the non-Malays voters who are pragmatic and realist to set aside their sentiments and look at the big picture.

"Politics lately is very much dictated by personal feelings. The whole discourse is about ‘they hit you so why don't you hit back’," he said, referring to the sentiment among the opposition parties.

PKR itself has set aside the insult brought by PAS when the latter rejected both PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim and president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the candidate of Selangor menteri besar, he said.

"What we need now is the cool head to focus on our offering to the voters, especially the fence-sitters. Bickering and squabbling will not get us anywhere," Rafizi said.

Amanah will be the first to be "wiped out" if PKR fails to bring the opposition to the negotiation table, as PAS will fight Amanah all out in the next polls, Chang chimed in.

"The Chinese community has the wrong impression - that they thought Amanah can replace PAS totally. No, (it can’t), at least not for the time being.

“Many perceive that PKR works with PAS for personal interest. No, that is not true either," Chang said, defending his party’s position which has been criticised even by Opposition supporters.

Rafizi added that the responsibility of peacemaker to manage the frayed relationship between the other parties and PAS has to be on PKR’s shoulder.

"It is more important for Amanah that PKR maintains its relationship with PAS. Do you think Amanah can negotiate with PAS? They can't even come in the same room. DAP cannot talk to PAS either," echoed Rafizi.

'DAP and Amanah understands'

"Thus, DAP and Amanah appreciate and understand the role we have to play," he said, stressing the importance of PKR’s role to rein in multi-ethnic voters back to the centre.

"More often, we are being unfairly criticised for doing one single job that others don't want to do, which is to bring everyone back, as a moderator and negotiator," he said sardonically.

According to him, PAS will not be a big negative factor in the next general elections if the fence-sitters warm up to Pakatan Harapan after knowing the coalition better.

"If we need to, we will deal with PAS later (after the general elections)," he said

Rafizi added that the voters themselves would play a critical role and demand the Islamic party explain its relationship with Umno.

"If PAS does not make clear its position with Umno, then more and more voters will swing to Pakatan Harapan and Amanah,” said Rafizi, stressing the need for PKR to moderate the relationship between the parties.

Ties with PAS ‘only an electoral pact’

PKR’s openness to maintain a relationship with PAS, however, is not without its limits, with the party keeping a close eye on the development of any pact between Umno and PAS.

The message from PAS leadership on its links with Umno is always conflicting, said Rafizi.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had announced two months ago that the party would adopt a new approach to work with Umno.

Najib, in return, at the recently concluded Umno general elections no less, has responded by offering a chance for both Umno and PAS to work together, something Hadi had said would have to be discussed.

Rafizi, however, reminded Hadi that PAS will risk losing the support of the 30 percent fence-sitters in the next general elections if the Islamic party is seen as moving closer to Umno.

"PKR will definitely review its position with PAS if it makes an official position on Umno. Until then, we will continue the engagement between PAS and PKR," he said.

He reiterated PKR's stand that Pakatan Harapan is a coalition while their relationship with PAS is an electoral pact, just like with PSM.

"PKR's position has always been (this): we work with and (are) committed to Pakatan Harapan. At the same time, we maintain a electoral pact, which is understood even by DAP and Amanah. That was agreed on in the Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting," he explained.

"At the end of the day, what governs the next government is what we agree upon in Pakatan Harapan and PAS is not a part of it," he said. - mk

Rafizi: Jalan ke Putrajaya perlukan PAS

Selepas lapan bulan, TH masih gagal jual tanah di TRX...

Selepas lapan bulan berlalu, Lembaga Tabung Haji (Tabung Haji) dikatakan masih gagal menjual tanah yang dibeli daripada 1MDB di Tun Razak Exchange(TRX) dengan harga RM188.5 juta.

Naib Presiden PKR, Nurul Izzah Anwar berkata, adakah kegagalan menjual tanah itu merupakan bukti bahawa sebenarnya tanah TRX tidak mempunyai pembeli?

Katanya, TH sebelum ini memaklumkan sedang mempertimbangkan tiga pembeli berpotensi yang berminat untuk membeli tanah TRX pada awal Mei 2015 malah TH juga menyatakan bahawa rundingan jual tanah TRX mengambil masa dua minggu.

“Kerajaan yang diwakili pemimpin utamanya, Presiden UMNO perlu memberi perincian adakah keputusan ini bakal mempengaruhi peratusan dividen yang dinikmati oleh penyimpan TH, terutamanya sekiranya TH gagal menjual tanah tersebut dengan harga pasaran?

“Apakah jaminan dan mekanisme TH memastikan pendeposit akan mendapat kesan yang positif dari penjualan semula tanah tersebut?,” katanya dalam kenyataan media.

Nurul Izzah berkata, TH memberitahu akan membuat untung sebanyak RM5 juta jika tanah ini dijual tetapi bagaimana pula dengan kos pelaburan, kos pengurusan, kos kontrak perjanjian jual beli yang mungkin boleh melangkau sehingga melebihi RM5 juta.

“Lebih bermanfaat sekiranya 1MDB dan TH membatalkan transaksi jual beli tanah ini bagi mengembalikan semula wang tersebut kepada TH dalam usaha menambah baik perkhidmatan ibadah haji dan mengurangkan beban jemaah haji secara langsung.

“Kedua, kerajaan tidak patut dimaafkan apabila membiarkan 1MDB membuat keuntungan besar seperti ini dengan memberi risiko serta tambahan kos kepada pencarum TH.

“Jangan cemari nama baik TH dengan mainan politik parti. Kembalikan kepercayaan rakyat kepada institusi ibadah kita dengan meletakkan keutamaan kepada kredibiliti TH dan keperluan pendeposit; bukannya talian hayat dan penerus dana bagi entiti kesayangan Perdana Menteri (1MDB),” katanya.

Nurul Izzah berkata, menerusi jawapan Parlimen, 1MDB mendapat keuntungan besa kerana pembelian tanah TRX sebanyak RM 2,773 per kaki (RM188.5 juta) daripada kerajaan dengan harga hanya sebanyak RM 64 per kaki pada 2011 iaitu kira-kira RM4 juta.

“Adakah pendeposit Tabung Haji merelakan RM184 juta keuntungan kepada 1MDB; ataupun 47 kali ganda? Apa istimewanya 1MDB dibandingkan dengan TH?,” soalnya.

Katanya, ia mengukuh persepsi bahawa dana pendeposit telah dikorbankan semata-mata demi kepentingan sebuah syarikat ‘kontroversi’ dan bermasalah; dengan Badan Penasihat yang dipengerusikan Perdana Menteri!

“Ternyata, transaksi yang melibatkan TH merupakan pendekatan yang paling pantas untuk 1MDB mendapat keuntungan berlipat kali ganda mengikut ‘pintu belakang’; menggunakan dana awam dan agensi kerajaan tanpa memikirkan kesannya kepada imej TH dan wang pendeposit,” katanya. - fmt


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