Rafizi Ramli bids farewell to fellow Parliamentarians

KUALA LUMPUR: Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli conveyed his heartfelt apologies and bid farewell to fellow Parliamentarians in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Urging them to continue to make the people's interest a priority, he reminded them of their duties to those who elected them.

"This will be my final speech in this Dewan because I will not contest in the upcoming general elections.

"I want to begin by thanking and extending my appreciation to Tan Sri Speaker and his deputies who always gave me the opportunity and consideration for me to debate. I pray that this House will be more honoured in the times to come.

"I also wish to apologise if my stinging criticisms towards the government in the past five years had hurt the feelings of members from the other side.

"I have never done it out of hate in fact I have also enjoyed the exchange of criticisms with the other side," Rafizi said.

Naming some of them who often criticised him like Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Moktar Radin, Lenggong MP Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, Tenggara MP Datuk Halimah Sadique, and Tanjung Karang MP Tan Sri Noh Omar, he said there is nothing personal in their harsh exchanges.

"As an elected representative we are salaried by the people, who have to bear a heavy burden out there.

"The responsibility of the Opposition is to ensure that the government fulfils its responsibilities and promises made to the people.

"That is why I cannot escape from (my duty) to raise some matters that are very close to the people's heart, what more in my final speech today," he said.

There was a pin-drop silence in the Dewan Rakyat in the first three minutes of a 20-minute speech Rafizi gave.

Rafizi, who is also PKR vice president, was found guilty last month by the Shah Alam Sessions Court for exposing confidential banking details, relating to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal in 2012.

The court had sentenced him and former bank clerk Johari Mohamad, who had abetted him, to 30 months' imprisonment each but allowed a stay of execution pending an appeal.

Under Article 48 (1) (e) of the Federal Constitution, an elected representative loses his seat if he is jailed for at least a year or fined a minimum of RM2,000.