Malaysiakini - No 2 race: Zaid outlines seven requests.
Zaid Ibrahim’s requests to the PKR election committee chief, Dr Molly Cheah, were directly related to the party’s election procedures such as:
- transparent ballot boxes
- ballot slips with serial numbers
- candidates may appoint their own polling and counting agents
- agents are required to sign voting result slips
- proper electoral roll be prepared to ensure that the electoral list held by the candidates tallied with those of the election committee.
- voting time strictly adhered to - election officers cannot shorten or extend voting time
- new members who renewed their membership during voting day should be allowed into the electoral roll
Can anyone see anything sinister in his requests? Au contraire, they appear to be all for greater transparency, accountability and integrity of an election process.
Presumably if the PKR election committee refuses his reasonable and excellent requests, and questions will certainly be raised as to why they would deny these transparent and accountable procedures, Zaid Ibrahim will withdraw from the contest.
He would then be on high moral grounds to claim that the committee does not intend to be fair, transparent or accountable, as was raised in accusations against the recent party division elections where some candidates were denied access to the counting process, which if true, would be a damning indictment on the integrity of the PKR divisional polls.
At this stage I am not sure whether Zaid is manoeuvring for a face saving exit from the contest for No 2, or he really wants to be treated fairly in the party polls as he reckons he has a chance.
If the party election committee fails to accept Zaid’s reasonable requests, then even for non PKR observers it will be clear there is indeed mischief afoot.
I have also not been impressed by Azmin Ali’s advice to Nurul that ‘people’ would question her participation in the contest for the party’s deputy presidency, nor his exclaimed surprise and whining at Khalid Ibrahim’s entry into the tussle for the party’s No 2 post. Didn’t he undermine Khalid’s position as the Selangor MB?
Does Azmin believe his candidature should not be challenged as he is the anointed heir to the PKR throne, bestowed by his godfather?
It doesn’t help when there had been badmouthing conducted (by whom???) against Zaid Ibrahim in the notorious mode of “20 dalils kenapa Zaid tidak boleh menjadi ...” in the early stages of the campaign.
There are currently accusations against Zaid that he’s from UMNO and probably a mole out for mischief and disruption, but have these accusers forgotten that Anwar Ibrahim and Azmin too were from UMNO? But OK, yes, there are differences between them.
The differences are that Anwar was expelled and Azmin followed suit, while Zaid was a senator and full minister who resigned on his own dignified terms.
Zaid had on assuming his ministerial post bravely called for the government to extend a public apology for its shameful handling of the 1988 Judicial Crisis, which ended up in the sacking of the then Lord President of the Supreme Court, Tun Salleh Abas.
From Wikipedia, Zaid stated: "In the eyes of the world, the judicial crisis has weakened our judiciary system." However, he rejected the idea of reviewing the decision: "I am not suggesting that we re-open the case. I am saying that it’s clear to everyone, to the world, that serious transgressions had been committed by the previous administration. And I believe that the prime minister is big enough and man enough to say that we had done wrong to these people and we are sorry." […]
Just in case you guys have forgotten, Wikipedia said Zaid is known for his criticism of the government's handling of legal issues such as the judiciary, human rights and Islamic law. He supported the establishment of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Video Clip, criticising the government's initial response to the clip, which allegedly revealed fixing of judicial decisions and graft in the judiciary. [...]
Zaid Ibrahim urged the Yang di-Pertuan Agong not to appoint Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as Prime Minister of Malaysia, and instead appoint someone else from UMNO. He pointed out Najib has been linked on the internet and by political rivals to the brutal murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu. Zaid also cited the RM400 million in commissions reportedly paid by the Defence Ministry while Najib was minister for the procurement of submarines, and pointed out that Abdul Razak Baginda, Najib's friend, was an agent in the deal. […]
One of the anti-Zaid sneering complaints has been his loose cannon behaviour, and as the above paragraphs evidently demonstrated his loose cannon stand as an UMNO minister against the UMNO-led government, then quite frankly I am all for more of his loose cannon-ness.
Then, he showed his moral superiority and statesmanship over Anwar and Azmin when he voluntarily resigned from his ministerial position over the questionable ISA detention of DAP’s Teresa Kok, Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK), and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng.
OTOH, Anwar as an UMNO minister (in various ministries) had never stood up for anything on moralistic or principled grounds of the magnitude exhibited by Zaid. Anwar miraculously became a reformer overnight ONLY AFTER he was booted out from his once formidable position in the establishment.
I have never disguised my lack of respect for or belief in his so-called reformasi, and I was proven right when he reverted to his UMNO frog hunting days in the sordid scandalous shameful 916 episode.
OK, so Anwar has changed as many would vow, but then why is Zaid with far greater (and demonstrated) moral principles is considered as dodgy and untrustworthy?
And let’s not even bring chico Azmin Ali into comparison because he has owed his entire limited reputation as PKR leader on only one reason, his closeness to the ‘Great One’.
The campaign against Zaid has been dirty and typical of those seen during UMNO internal party election campaigns. At the risk of overusing a cliché there’s truth that one can take some people out of UMNO but one can’t take UMNO out of them.
Related: to see Richard Teo’s views on who, Zaid or Azmin, should be the superior person for PKRs’ No 2 position please read my earlier post PKR's immature childish leader?