Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli has welcomed suspended Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin to the ‘reformasi movement’ to work together to ensure a better Malaysia.
In his response to Muhyiddin’s suspension, Rafizi acknowledged how the veteran Umno politician had spoken about the need to bring independence and integrity to key institutions in the country.
“I cannot speak for my party or Pakatan Harapan. I will not speak for others. I can only speak for myself as an activist who is a part of the reformasi movement since 1998.
“I would offer a hand of friendship to anyone and everyone who subscribes to the reform agenda,” said the PKR vice-president in a statement to Malaysiakini .
The priority now, he added, is to bring the rakyat together to push for an overhaul of the "abusive" current system.
“I would welcome Muhyiddin to this movement of rakyat and offer my hand of friendship so that we can work together to ensure a new Malaysia that is just and fair, that puts rule of law above personal interest."
The PKR secretary-general also expressed hope that more Malaysians would decide to do something to remove Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and in turn, install a new prime minister who will answer to the rakyat under a new system.
Malaysia, added Rafizi, is currently at a “unique junction” in history.
“For the first time, we may just reach the critical point where a majority of our society, irrespective of their background, understand why we cannot delay reforms anymore."
Muhyiddin, in his response after being suspended from his post, had stressed the need for reforms in the country.
He said the mere rejection of Najib was not enough and changes to the country's laws and political institutions are needed.
The former deputy prime minister was yesterday suspended from the post of Umno deputy president, which came into immediate effect.
Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said Muhyiddin’s actions did not reflect his responsibility as the deputy president who is supposed to help the president strengthen the party.
Thought of Anwar
Meanwhile, Rafizi is of the opinion that no one – especially one who had spent his or her adult life contributing to the party – deserved to be discarded the same way Muhyiddin was suspended.
“Among the first thought that crossed my mind when I read Muhyiddin’s statement was (former opposition leader) Anwar Ibrahim ( photo ).
“How Anwar would have reacted to this unique circumstance which presents a great opportunity for reform, albeit risky and full of uncertainties,” said Rafizi.
The currently incarcerated political leader would have wanted a “grand coalition” that gives space to anyone and everyone who subscribes to the idea of reforms, said Rafizi.
“He had worked tirelessly in the past to bring groups of people from opposing camps and ideologies to work on one platform to push for reforms.
“A lot of what we have today is a result of his foresight and patience to forge that grand coalition.
“Anwar would have been magnanimous to welcome anyone and everyone on board while remaining extremely focused on the reform agenda,” Rafizi pointed out.