Pandan MP Mohd Rafizi Ramli has urged supporters not to feel sorry nor sad for him or his family, over the likelihood that he would face imprisonment.
The PKR secretary-general said he was happy despite Monday's conviction, and was confident he would sleep well in prison knowing he had performed his duty as an elected representative, as well as his duty towards Allah.
Instead, Rafizi told supporters, they should feel sorry and sad for the poor families who would continue to suffer under Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s administration.
“Don’t feel sorry for me, nor my wife and child. Feel sorry for the children of the poor, of the villagers, of the Chinese, Malays, Indians, Ibans and Kadazans who aren’t dignitaries, because they don’t have a voice unlike us, and they don’t get to raise their family in special circumstances unlike us.
“Who is going to defend them, if we don’t topple Najib and (his wife) Rosmah?” he said last night.
The ceramah at Kampung Cheras Baru last night was part of a series of talks under Rafizi’s 'Projek Buang Najib' (Project to oust Najib).
Some 300 people attended the talk, some of whom had to watch from screens set up outside the venue because the hall where it was held was full.
Rafizi was convicted of two charges under the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA) on Monday for allegedly leaking a page from the auditor-general’s report on 1MDB. He was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, which is to run concurrently.
Rafizi, who is also the PKR vice-president, is currently out on bail pending the conclusion of the appeal process.
He told the audience that with good behaviour, he would likely serve only one year in prison, which is about the time a person takes to study for a Master’s degree.
He joked that he hoped to study law so that he could defend himself in court, and that his lawyer Gobind Singh Deo - who would be visiting him often in prison - would be his teacher.
Rafizi previously said he had 12 pending court cases in total, including the OSA charges. Gobind heads one of Rafizi’s three legal teams tackling the cases.
Rafizi last night added he would not mind being jailed for a year, if Najib was also imprisoned afterwards and never released.
He said Najib had abused public funds resulting in cuts in subsidies and social services, which in turn add to the burden of the poor.
Najib had consistently denied any wrongdoing, and attorney-general Mohd Apandi Ali had exonerated him following the 1MDB investigations.
Also speaking at last night's event were Kuala Krai MP Mohd Hatta Ramli, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Gobind, Alor Setar MP Gooi Hsiao Leung, and Seremban MP Anthony Loke.
Several of them praised Rafizi as a diligent MP in speaking up for the people.
Mohd Hatta said Rafizi had performed better than many other lawmakers, including the latter's seniors like himself.
“As someone who is more senior than him - perhaps twice his age - we could not match his efforts, his tenacity, and his courage.
“And he does not speak based on hearsay, but based on information and statistics that he had obtained and calculated himself.
“If such extraordinary information had not been brought forward, the people would not know what has happened in this country. We will never know the truth,” said Mohd Hatta.
Gooi, meanwhile, compared Rafizi to the ‘supermoon’ phenomenon on Nov 14, when the moon was closest to the Earth since 1948.
“I believe that to find a leader like Rafizi is not easy, like tonight’s moon […] you can see a moon (that is so close and so bright) like tonight […] if we were to wait, we would have to wait another 70 years before we could see a moon so bright.
“That, is Rafizi Ramli,” said Gooi.- Mkini