Incumbent PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s winding-up speech at the party’s National Congress on Sunday (Nov 18) made the delegates as well as many others including journalists sit up and pay rapt attention.
Although heavily veiled, it was clear he was voicing his grouses over various issues including the recently concluded party election.
Azmin went on to say that he had adhered to Perlis delegate Tengku Nadzri Tengku Aldin’s concerns about party unity over the battle between him and former Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli for the party’s number two position.
“He had sincerely urged for me and my friend Rafizi to end the election campaign and move forward together to strengthen Keadilan.
“It is true that it was a very challenging election and the longest in the world but as a person who is older than him and as someone who is like an elder brother, I had spontaneously gone to him to greet him,” said Azmin, adding that the gesture, as well as a hug between them, had reinstalled the camaraderie to continue with the party’s struggles.
He reiterated statements by incoming party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and incumbent president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail that politics wasn’t merely about gaining power but also about values, etiquette and good practices.
“This is what makes Keadilan unique, we have faced many challenges but we emerged as a strong party and united in upholding the reformasi torch.
“It reminds me of the saying; it’s not the victory but the struggle that really matters,” said Azmin.
Azmin then told the party leaders and delegates that the results of the recent party polls were not known yet other than whispers here and there.
“I don’t dare to tweet for fear of being scolded,” said Azmin with a naughty glance at Dr Wan Azizah who had recently taken Azmin to task over a tweet that was misconstrued as his claim to victory.
On a more serious note, Azmin said PKR must prove to the world that the country can manage democracy well and responsibly.
He also called for everyone to not behave like they were in World War III as what had transpired in the party polls was a matured democratic process.
Azmin then quoted former US president Barack Obama that “democracy was a noisy process”.
He also reminisced about the past and said he did not get where he was today “for free”.
“I faced challenges first from (Datuk) Zaid Ibrahim and then (Tan Sri) Khalid Ibrahim and after that…,” said Azmin sniggering, adding that Rafizi had not fought him but had instead offered his services to the party.
Azmin added it had not been a problem for him as he had remained calm and cool all the time as requested by Anwar.
“The person who is calm will be successful always,” said Azmin.
He said he had the experience of doing the work of a deputy president in the party for more than a decade.
He also narrated how he had wanted to contest against the then deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali but was requested to refrain from doing so by Anwar.
“Anwar called me and said that Dr Syed Husin was his teacher and asked me to not go against him and I took Anwar’s advice because I was loyal to him,” he said.
Azmin received thunderous cheer and applause throughout his 30-minute winding-up speech.