Rafizi rebuts Azmin, says criticism of top Cabinet posts reflects PKR view

After backlash, PKR vice-president says statement issued on ministerial appointments made on behalf of party.

Rafizi Ramli has defended himself saying if no one dared to criticise PH, it would be a return to the ‘Barisan Nasional era’.

PETALING JAYA: Rafizi Ramli said there was no final decision on Cabinet positions as the party had wanted Anwar Ibrahim to be part of the discussions, in remarks showing the PKR vice-president’s open disagreement with Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s naming of top Cabinet posts on Saturday.

In a series of tweets, Rafizi rebutted PKR deputy president Azmin Ali’s remarks that the statement he made yesterday was his own personal view.

“The statement I released was PKR’s stand, not my own.

“The statement came from me because I am the only senior party leader who won’t be part of the government, so there is no conflict of interest.”

On the discussions regarding Cabinet portfolios, he said Mahathir met PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Amanah president Mat Sabu and DAP secretary Lim Guan Eng.

“No agreement was reached at the meeting and discussions were supposed to continue on Saturday.

“PKR requested that the discussions include Anwar, who is the de facto leader of PH and PKR.

“While the PKR leadership was waiting at Hospital Rehabilisasi Cheras, that is when the announcement was made without our leadership present.

“Only after that did Mahathir and Lim come to meet Anwar.”

He said the question of raising the issue at a meeting didn’t arise as the meeting, which was supposed to involve Anwar, never happened and the appointments were made without PKR being involved.

Rafizi also rubbished a report in Sinchew Daily that his opposition to the appointments was due to him wanting to be finance minister. He said he would sue the media outlet.

He said he had made it clear that he would not accept any Cabinet position after the 14th general election, as far back as two years ago when he founded his research firm, Invoke.

Rafizi said he had been criticised for his comments on the Cabinet appointments but urged the people to remember that if no one dared to criticise, it would be a return of the “Barisan Nasional era”.

“During the BN era, when Mahathir raised issues outside, BN supporters would ask him to air his criticisms through the proper channels.

“Now, supporters of the PH government are using the same line.”

He said many wanted a new government, but weren’t free of the old mindset of the BN era.

“That’s why I always say at ceramahs that I am not concerned that PH will win, but am more concerned that victory won’t free the minds of the people.”

Yesterday, Mahathir named PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin as home minister, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng as finance minister and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu as defence minister.

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