Dear friends, Malaysians who yearn for change,
Over the years, the most commonly asked question is: what hope do we have when we cannot penetrate the rural and semi-urban seats where Malay votes are dominant?
I spent the last 7 years at the forefront of opposition politics. I crafted#bukujingga in order to boost public's confidence in our policy credentials. Together with Tony Pua Wong Chen Ong Kian Ming Liew Chin Tong Dr Dzulkifly Ahmad and many others, year after year we presented an alternative budget. We spent a good two years refining the last election's manifesto aptly named "Pakatan Harapan Rakyat".
Yet we still miss the mark. In some states Malay support for opposition was as low as 15% (Johor in GE13). Nationally Pakatan Rakyat suffered a drop in Malay support thus preventing us from winning key marginal constituencies in Johor, Perak, Pahang, Kedah and Kelantan.
I have very limited time left. In all likelihood, I am not going to be around when GE14 is called. The OSA charge's verdict will be delivered on 14 November 2016, about 3 weeks from now. (For the record, I was charged with disclosing Auditor General's Report linking 1MDB to Army's Pension Fund).
Under the OSA, the charge carries a minimum compulsory jail sentence of 1 year and a maximum of 7 years.
I expect the worst and the appeal process to be quick as well, judging how quick they have concluded my trial.
In all likelihood, I may not be around (outside) by February 2017.
Given all these converging circumstances, I am in a unique position. With a near certainty of going to prison, I can free myself from the party and partisan's bureaucracy to do the one thing that many other cannot do before or now. Given that I have nothing to lose now that I had nearly lost everything anyway, I can throw whatever I have to make this one thing works.
What is this one thing that is so crucial to answer the most commonly asked question of getting Malay votes?
The campaign for change has to be brought to the doorsteps of the Malay masses in kampung and towns. It has to go beyond the partisan line and blind to party loyalty so as to rope in as many people as possible irrespective of their party allegiance.
We have seen a glimpse of people's power when common people are mobilised beyond partisan's line, as hundreds of thousands of people joined BERSIH rallies in the past. But what matters more is mobilising as many as 50,000 people actively on the ground every month from now on until GE14 to work on marginal seats.
This can only happen by way of mobilising a large army of volunteers from all walks of life. They knock doors every weekend irrespective of what the political climate is. These volunteers collect feedback from voters from their doorsteps encounters which then is fed back into an analytical system running on a server to find commonalities. These commonalities help us understand what motivate them to vote for change, so that we can tailor our messages to suit their emotive perspective.
This cannot be done by a political party because by nature, a political party excludes rather than includes.
For this purpose, I have set up a full time, professional campaign team that will run the non-partisan campaign for change around the clock backed by the best technology and digital marketing available.
You can find more information about them at www.invokemalaysia.org
I have put in RM500,000 of my own life saving in order to get it off the ground. In return, I have managed to persuade a group of highly talented, multiracial, multi-background and highly educated young Malaysians to take a one year break from their career to focus on doing this.
We have completed Phase I of the #ProjekBuangNajib i.e. establishing the system, liaison with political parties (leaders from PKR, DAP, AMANAH and BERSATU have all been briefed and attended Partnership4Change program), filling up key leadership positions.
We are now into Phase II of #ProjekBuangNajib - scaling up the operation to land full time Field Coordinators at marginal constituencies. Our Field Coordinators will recruit volunteers locally and manage out-of-town volunteers to match them with the most effective use of their time. He/She will lead door to door canvassing on weekly basis.
For this to happen, we need funds to pay for Field Coordinators. The initial estimate is we need 30 Field Coordinators (for 30 marginal constituencies) at RM2,500 per month. That means RM75,000 a month. If GE14 is to be held in March 2017, we need to employ Field Coordinators for at least 6 months i.e. payroll cost of RM450,000.
Hence this appeal to all Malaysians who yearn for change.
Please come to INVOKE's Fundraising Dinner on 11 November 2016 with the dramatic theme of "Hope In The Midst of Gloom: Rafizi Ramli and Army of Volunteers".
Apart from me, my esteemed colleagues Wong Chen Dato Haji Husam Musa Gobind Singh Deo will also speak.
Tickets are selling at RM100 per seat or RM1,000 per table.
Please contact Lina at 018 2975 708 or email email@example.com to buy tickets.
Alternatively, you can visit www.invokemalaysia.org at our eShop to buy the tickets.
Even if you don't intend to buy a ticket, please come to hear INVOKE's plan and we'll prepare chairs at the back.
Ever since I was unexpectedly thrown into the national political coliseum due to the #NFC scandal 5 years ago, I had many moments when I questioned the wisdom of risking everything in the name of change. I discovered eventually that inconsistency between words and actions is the only thing consistent about politicians, whichever political divide you are with.
The only reason I never waiver and never give up was because I feel the large majority of people always give a nod of approval to my "not-so-traditional" approach to politics.
Hence towards the end of this cycle of my adventure before (in all likelihood) I am given a His Majesty's paid vacation, I ask for your support once again, the way you had always given me the benefit of the doubt (though more often than not I sound very different from my colleagues).
23 October 2016
23 October 2016