Rafizi Ramli explains ‘Kajang Move’


The plot thickens! Rafizi Ramli says the gambit to force a by-election in Kajang is in anticipation of the possibility of Najib Razak being ousted by the Mahathir faction and to showcase Selangor as a model of Pakatan rule.

The Kajang Move: Game Changer in Putrajaya Quest

by Rafizi Rami

I am aware that there is a lot of explanation that has to be made on the decision to vacate the Kajang seat to force a by-election. I am also acutely aware of Dato’ Ambiga’s advice communicated personally to me that we have to be as honest as possible with the people.

Apology to the public

So let me begin by offering the sincerest apology to the Malaysian public especially the voters of Kajang. The by-election will certainly consume public money and public space at the time when the people have to go through economic hardship.

There is no excuse for wasting public money except to offer my sincerest apology and for the party to be prepared if the voters of Kajang decide to punish us.

In all honesty, as the strongest proponent of the scheme I bear most responsibility for the decision.

Dynamics in Umno, racial and religious controversies

Yet precisely because we are honest to ourselves and the people, we have to acknowledge that there are problems and challenges that we are facing in Selangor that require intervention.

While Khalid Ibrahim’s administration has shown sterling performance over the last six years that endears him to the public, there are rooms for improvement in many areas especially given the latest dynamics in Umno.

It is an open secret that the move to remove Najib Razak has begun. As a party strategist, I cannot rule out the possibility that Najib is removed and Umno falls to the ultras led by Mahathir Mohamad’s faction.

The unscrupulous attack and schemes to take Selangor by hook or by crook will begin the moment the weak Najib is removed. Even as we speak, Umno’s cards are all too obvious in the latest round of racial and religious controversies stirred up in Selangor in the last few months.

Should Najib fall, expect a full blown manipulation of racial and religious issues to create mistrust and frustration with the Selangor government.

Model state as a launchpad for Putrajaya

While Khalid Ibrahim’s administration has set a gold standard in integrity and prudence in managing public funds, we also have to admit there are also other areas that we can improve.

We need radical approach to solving the traffic woes, the pace of affordable public housing has to pick up. There is a need for more rigorous forward planning of water resources in Selangor and some hard decisions have to be made soon. We have to vigorously protect the rights of the minorities who are the targets of Umno’s political game.

As an MP, I certainly believe we can do better especially with regards to cleanliness and livelihood of the people. We have the potential to be a model state with least potholes in densely populated areas.

In other words, Selangor has to be doubly better than what it is today if it were to become a showcase for Pakatan in its quest for Putrajaya. Just as Istanbul was a launchpad for Erdogan and Jakarta is a launchpad for Jokowi, Selangor can be a great launchpad for Pakatan to take over Putrajaya.

Fortification of Pakatan in Selangor

The job is not done and we are about to face another round of onslaught from Umno.

Therefore, while it is certainly inexcusable to spend public fund unnecessarily in a by-election, it is an even bigger dereliction of public duty if we do not do anything, knowing that this round is going to be tougher.

What PKR and Pakatan Selangor need is a fortification so that we can expedite reforms and simultaneously fend off political attacks and manouvres from Umno. We need as many of our top leaders around Selangor to defend Selangor because it remains the crown jewel of any political coalition in the country.

Hence the decision to field Anwar Ibrahim for a state seat as this provides an option that we can readily exercise should the need arise.

Does this mean there will be a change of stewardship of Selangor government? Maybe yes, maybe no. But we do have the option to optimize our leadership potential if Umno stirs up more trouble.

Option is key. Having the option means having the flexibility of manouvres that can easily frustrate Umno’s game in Selangor especially with regards to racial and religious controversies.

Avoid the Kedah experience

At the end of the day, I know no amount of explanation can sooth the public anger. I only appeal for time to let the rationale sink in and space for us to do the necessary.

I also have to apologise on behalf of my party for the differences we have among ourselves that are seen as factional and often frustrates the public. Yet we trying our best to resolve it now for the sake of Malaysians, because not doing it now will certainly condemn us to the same experience of Pakatan in Kedah. We learn the lesson bitterly that differences must be managed early because the party always has to be whole to face Umno.

The game-changing Kajang Move

Good political leaders will never be popular. It pains me that we have to drag Anwar Ibrahim through this and subject him to public anger, yet his willingness to be a part of the bigger picture is the mark of the man.

Throughout the last few days, I reassured myself that it was Churchill who chose to be unpopular and remained a minority voice of alarm against the advancing Nazis till the end despite a public popularity to appease the Nazis. An the height of Nazi’s power, Churchill stood alone when every one else in Europe bowed to Hitler.

The conviction of doing the right thing, in the face of extreme criticism and public anger, remains a yardstick of what an honest leadership is.

I thank the top leadership of Pakatan who understand the necessity of doing this. I thank my comrades in the second leadership line up of Pakatan who have given the moral and political support for us to proceed.

I hope that one day when we are in Putrajaya, we can look back to the difficult days of what will be called the “Kajang Move” as the game changer in our quest for Putrajaya. I honestly hope that it will our defining moments that allow us one step closer to Putrajaya.

I may be naïve and ridiculed for my naivette, but that’s as honest as I can be.

Let’s look ahead for a stronger Pakatan in Selangor posed to take over Putrajaya in the next election and don’t look back.

My comment:

I think the part where Rafizi says:

We need radical approach to solving the traffic woes, the pace of affordable public housing has to pick up. There is a need for more rigorous forward planning of water resources in Selangor and some hard decisions have to be made soon. We have to vigorously protect the rights of the minorities who are the targets of Umno’s political game.

As an MP, I certainly believe we can do better especially with regards to cleanliness and livelihood of the people. We have the potential to be a model state with least potholes in densely populated areas.

is an admission that these are among the weaknesses in the present administration.

What do you think of Rafizi’s explanation? Will Anwar’s entry into Selangor change the way the state is run, and if so, how?

As for the possible ouster of Najib, Asia Sentinel carried a piece, which began:

Mahathir and his allies want to set a date for Malaysia’s prime minister to move out

Forces aligned with former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad appear to be attempting push embattled Malaysian Premier Najib Tun Razak into giving a time frame for his eventual departure from office and naming a successor, sources in Kuala Lumpur say.

The sources say that successor could be hard-line Home Affairs Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, 61, who was once an ally of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim when Anwar was still in Mahathir’s government. Zahid is third in line for succession and his rise would bypass Muhyiddin Yassin, the current deputy president of UMNO and deputy prime minister, who is 66. Muhyiddin has said he will retire soon. Full article here.

What do you think? How likely is this scenario? Have you heard anything?

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Ravi Arunasalam
Ravi Arunasalam
23 Sep 2014 9.12pm

En Rafizi spins a tall tale and those gullible enough to be caught hook line sinker deserve to be taken for a rude before pakatan do their ‘death roll’… Country is going to dogs only because opposition supporters have no cojones to ask Pakatan to stop internally fracturing themselves and sincerely act as one unit and be honest in wanting to pursue fair and equitable terms for rakyat … Too much bull… from opposition!!!

26 Sep 2014 3.29am

Come GE14, MIC is history.

Be brave
31 Jan 2014 11.17pm

I always agree that Anwar should lead the Selagor govr. to take Selangor higher in every way. Khalid did a good job and thanks to Azmin for all the problems caused. This Azmin fellow dont have the quality yet to seat in the MBs chair. Everyone let Anwar do the walking and talking. Since he is the most season politician he should lead Selangor to the highest glory. All our blessings to him and PR.

30 Jan 2014 3.33pm

Traditionally, MCA contests this seat for BN. Leow Tiong Lai, the newly minted MCA president, should contest the seat. It’s good opportunity for him to show leadership. He might just win this as people are upset with Anwar’s lack of regards. Given the outcome of this by election will not affect the state government position, I hope Anwar eats his humble pie here.

31 Jan 2014 12.18am
Reply to  shameful

We will all be gunning for the removl of these two trouble makers form PKR – Anwar and his side-kick Azmin Ali. We all MUST end all their shenanigans, Instead of getting down to the business of `keeping their Election promises’ one is mad and besotted with being a PM and the other is losing sleep on how to be Selangor MB! The joke on them is Neither qualify to be an MB …! NOT even a year into their recent victory, Pakatan is now in shambles – imagine supporting Anwar ibrahim on the flimsiest of reason. Hey, do you… Read more »

30 Jan 2014 6.50am

Najib still has the option to become Hollywood Producer should Mahathir’s camp wants him out.
With Rosmah’s connection, Najib can become Hollywood celebrity should he collaborate with MIG’s David Teo & KRU Brothers with the financial backing from Joe Low & his stepson. Malaysia Boleh when local made movies win Oscar under Njib’s transformtion !

30 Jan 2014 1.20pm
Reply to  henson

Hmmm……..Najib should produce what film hah…..Got it….This one


30 Jan 2014 1.07am

It’s time to treat Pakatan to a rude awakening. The response given by Rafizi is just trying to explain the jarring incongruencies resulting from the PKR move. Nope, smells fishy to me. As long as PR still can maintain power in Selangor, and Khalid stays as MB. It’s time to tell them don’t play play with the rakyat. This by-election, PKR must fall.

29 Jan 2014 11.38pm

Dont use umno to fear monger. We had enough from umno to take the same from pkr.

This is about getting their hands into public funds for whatever reasons. Patronizing your supporters is to me the worse part if it. Disappointing.

29 Jan 2014 8.39pm

The private jet stories and wolf tales of New York are just ‘prelude’ to the final revelation of Altantuya case to force Jibby to vacate his position? Meantime the religious unrest created … is justify police state that facilitate (someone) to rise to occasion?

30 Jan 2014 12.56am
Reply to  tim

That shall be mukriz…..Wanna bet?

29 Jan 2014 6.39pm

Whatever flaw pakatan ruled states may have let’s give them, Anwar, our support as BN is already rotten to the core, fit for the bin long time ago if not because of the stupid Malaysians.

Batu Ferringhian
Batu Ferringhian
29 Jan 2014 5.25pm

For me, it doesn’t matter if Anwar will be contesting in Kajang…so, he’ll have one foot in Penang and another in Selangor. What’s the big fuss? These are the two states that BN is jonesin’ for. Having Anwar contest in Kajang is a political move that is similar to chess. It’s so obvious that some sacrifices were made but we need to focus on the bigger picture. We’ll never know the real reason(s). We are just not important enough to know every single detail. A perfect government is a myth, like democracy. It has its pros and cons. The present… Read more »

Rich Daddy
Rich Daddy
29 Jan 2014 4.58pm

Watch out the state 2.8 billion reserve !!! Wanna bet ? During next GE the reserve is not there anymore !!!

29 Jan 2014 5.53pm
Reply to  Rich Daddy

Najib allegedly carries too much Mongolian baggage to kow tow to Mahathir?

30 Jan 2014 11.13am
Reply to  tim

Bloomberg columnist William Pesek wrote that judging from how Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his “people” are circling around Datuk Seri Najib Razak, it is hard not to wonder if the prime minister’s days are numbered.


Pak Tim
Pak Tim
22 Mar 2014 11.56pm
Reply to  Rich Daddy

That is why umno wants it back. Selangor is the richest state.

29 Jan 2014 4.57pm

Rafizi is someone I can believe. l That said, when it comes to Azmin and Anwar, I shall still have to evaluate whatever is said carefully. Cannot shake the distrust I have of the blue-eyed boy, and his greedy ambition. “Fortification of Pakatan in Selangor”, “launchpad for for Putrajaya takeover”, “vigorously protect the rights of minorities” and all that sound good, and to give the plan the maximum benefitof the doubt, may all be true. But are there any hidden agendas? For a start, to dispel concerns of smelly conspiracues, Anwar and Azmin should listen to the people of Selangor,… Read more »

29 Jan 2014 2.08pm

The New Aspiration team from MCA should contest in this Kajang by-election.
Liow should not give up the seat to Umno, elase he is no different from Chua SL.

Pak Tim
Pak Tim
22 Mar 2014 11.53pm
Reply to  Fakri

Liow is more sly than Chua. He was responsible for the downfall of OTK.

Kok Keong
Kok Keong
29 Jan 2014 1.06pm

Too late. Especially after what Azmin had said yesterday. And notice that he now dares PM Najib to run against Anwar in the Kajang by-election. Unless Azmin is truly dumb, no one will take out against the PM for not doing it. And why should he? PKR is disappointingly rudderless now. There appears to be an implosion. Who is actually running the party, speaking for it? Anwar does not appear to be it. Why can’t he sees that Azmin is largely unpopular and whatever he has been saying is confusing or not good for the party as far as most… Read more »

najib manaukau
najib manaukau
29 Jan 2014 1.05pm

Or is this a case of ‘no fish, prawn will suffice’ !

29 Jan 2014 12.27pm

Everything done whether by PR or BN is for their own manipulation to serve their own interest, that is either to stay in power or to capture power.

29 Jan 2014 12.26pm

ODD that its only these 3 – ANWAR, AZMIN & Rafizi coming up with the scheme and the reasons – isn’t this the job of the President and other higher ups as Nurul Izzah! What happen to Kak Wan? Deposed before even the April party election? She picked Khalid Ibrahim and now all the worms are coming out of the can for a man who has done damn good! WHY after the PKNS removal are all these `shortcomings’ coming to fore. One may assume that Azmin must have been more than a `loyal’ employee to anwar for him to overide… Read more »