Can Rafizi or Nurul Izzah lead a wounded PKR?

22 Mar 2022 10:00am
Between Rafizi Ramli and Nurul Izzah, who is more eligible to run for number 2 post in PKR?
Between Rafizi Ramli and Nurul Izzah, who is more eligible to run for number 2 post in PKR?

SHAH ALAM - With calls for PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to step down becoming more vocal, questions now focus on who best to lead the beleaguered party after three devastating state election losses.

While former party vice president Rafizi Ramli has announced his comeback to the party, some have also started questioning whether Anwar's daughter, Nurul Izzah Anwar could take her father's place.

For Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Politics and International Relations Assoc Prof Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani said the decision on who will be leading the party is still blurry as there are quite a number of senior leaders who are able to lead PKR.

“It depends on who will win the PKR general assembly, I heard three people will be contesting namely Rafizi Ramli, Farhash Wafa Salvador and Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution,” he said when contacted by Sinar Daily.

Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Ibrahim is Anwar's former political aide while Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail is the current party secretary-general.

He opined that Saifuddin will be given the mandate to lead PKR if seniority is the main issue in PKR as he is likable by many within the party as well as being one of the pioneers for the reform movement.

“Rafizi has a good potential and he is out-going but he is also a controversial figure, being both equally likable and unlikeable in PKR.

“As for Farhash, he is new and young but I think he is also quite controversial and popular within PKR so it will be very interesting to observe whether the members of PKR will vote according to the generations,” he said.

However, weighing on the same matter is Senior fellow at Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research Dr Azmi Hassan who said that Rafizi has the potential to unite different camps within PKR and even the opposition.

“I think Rafizi is the best next person to replace Datuk Seri Anwar to regroup again with DAP and Amanah,” he said.

He commented further that Nurul Izzah should remain in the background to support Rafizi in leading PKR as she does not demonstrate any signs that she can lead the party.

“She might be slightly better than her mother, Wan Azizah but in my opinion, it is still not good enough despite her willingness to protect the principle of ideology but I think acceptance within PKR is going to be difficult for her,” he told Sinar Daily.

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In the same development, Dr Azizuddin also said that Nurul Izzah definitely possessed the aura and the charisma to lead as she takes after her father.

“If she decides to contest, then I think many people will support her, especially from Anwar’s loyal supporters,” he said.

He added further that the chance for Nurul Izzah to run for deputy presidency remains uncertain as she never mentioned any sign to contest.

Speaking to Sinar Daily is also PKR vice-president Tian Chua said who said that the party needs to start thinking about collective leadership, rather than a one-man led movement.

“No one individual can take us out of trouble, those days are over. How are we going to provide the best team for the people so they would support us?” he said, advising Rafizi to be a team player and inclusive amidst his political comeback.

When asked about a possible battle between Rafizi and Nurul Izzah, he said to put the top leaders heads-to-head was detrimental to the party as they could lose public support.

“This type of fierce fight between top leaders can be detrimental to the party instead of synchronising it.

“We can lose public support,” he told Sinar Daily

Instead, Tian Chua said Anwar needed to start thinking of a succession plan for the next generation.

He said although everyone was free to contest, the party president needed to give signals to ensure a smooth transition.

Sources within the party, however, said there has been massive support for Nurul Izzah to contest either for number one or number two post.

Many believed it was time she put herself in the position and make her presence felt now.

“In time, be it soon or much later, Anwar will surely need to vacate the seat soon. Nurul Izzah is the best option to unite the PKR,” one of the sources said.