Zaid Ibrahim joins in the fray for Pas

By Adib Zalkapli, The Malaysian Insider

In yet another blow to Barisan Nasional’s attempt to rejuvenate itself after the March 8 political tsunami, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim today declared his support for Pas’s campaign in the Kuala Terengganu by-election.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by DAP at a Chinese restaurant here, the former Cabinet member said there was an urgent need for the people to reject race-based politics.

“You are very smart, so I don’t have to tell you who you should vote,” said Zaid while urging the people of Kuala Terengganu to end divisive politics.

“Things have changed… Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, Nik Aziz and other Pakatan Rakyat leaders are working towards forging closer ties between the people,” he told the largely Chinese crowd.

“A political party that only helps its own race or group is not good for Malaysia, I hope Pakatan is serious about unity,” said Zaid.

He then ended his five-minute speech urging the voters to use their wisdom and not to be fooled when voting on Jan 17.

When met after the dinner, Zaid told reporters he had indeed endorsed Pas’s candidate Wakaf Mempelam assemblyman Abdul Wahid Endut.

However, he said this did not mean that he was joining any of the PR parties.

“I believe joining a political party is not urgent, but the message is,” he told reporters.

As a minister appointed by Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi to oversee various judicial and legal reforms, Zaid often had to face opposition from his party and was accused of giving in to Pakatan Rakyat’s demands.

He resigned as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in September to protest the arrest of Selangor state executive councillor Teresa Kok under the Internal Security Act.

Zaid was sacked from Umno for breaching the party’s regulation, after he appeared at a DAP dinner and PKR’s annual national congress in late November.