Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s first order as Partai Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president on Sunday (Nov 18) was for members to abide by the party’s discipline or leave the party.
Coming out guns blazing against any attempt to create divide or launch attacks against fellow party colleagues, Mr Anwar said he was saddened by PKR’s marred image during its three month internal polls.
Mr Anwar, who on Sunday officially took over the party president’s post from his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail after 20 years since the party’s inception, was referring to the intense campaign for party deputy presidency between Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Rafizi Ramli.
“Azmin and Rafizi are fine. But there are those who behaved like ‘macai’ (skivvies), and they were busy sneering, jeering and instigating rivals, among others.
“Such behaviour makes one unfit to be a leader. I read a series of reports during these three months during the party election. I looked at the pictures of people fighting. I feel sad.
“Can you deny Azmin or Rafizi’s contribution to the party? There is no need to insult or spew vitriol. You either adhere to the party’s discipline, or get out,” Mr Anwar said to a round of cheers from delegates, during his maiden speech as the party’s president to adjourn PKR’s 13th congress.
Mr Anwar also touched on rumours of him going against Malaysian prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Now there are rumours saying that there are conspiracies being hatched (by Anwar). They want to pit me against Dr Mahathir.
“I support the leadership of Dr Mahathir.
“There are also stories that I have been craving for special privileges, such taking flights in jets sponsored by others. Please stop all of these nonsensical, ugly and stupid talk.
“Do you think I have been hankering for all of that? If there are attempts again to spread such rumours, I will catch you, and give you a whacking.”
Mr Anwar told other party leaders to come out with a consensus to prevent attempts to divide the party from within taking place.
“We are having it good now. But that cannot eliminate the pain we have suffered for 20 years.
“However, I forgive all of those who had insulted, assaulted and jailed me.”
Mr Anwar also paid a tribute to Dr Wan Azizah over her role in spearheading the party.
“She did not want to be a politician, or be in the limelight like other ministers’ wives (when Anwar was in government 20 years ago).
“She just wanted to be an ophthalmologist. But Dr Wan Azizah had to rise to the occasion,” Mr Anwar said in reference to his first arrest in 1998 which then sparked a movement which ultimately evolved into PKR.
On his role as president, Mr Anwar said he would ensure that PKR meets all its goals and continues to fight for justice, especially for the downtrodden.
“I did not want to be the president. It is easier to be a de facto leader, which is a high position but without much work on your shoulders. But many people came to see me, asking me to take over.
“Just now, my wife told me not to shock the delegates with my speech. Do not be too fierce.
“But I can tell you that I will be strict and responsible in running the party.”