‘Zaid doing a disservice to party’

By Stephanie Sta Maria

PETALING JAYA: Zaid Ibrahim’s lamentation of alleged attacks over his bid for party deputy president has not won him any sympathy from the independent central election committee of PKR.

Instead Dr Molly Cheah, who heads the 10-member committee, has expressed concern that his recent statement may have unintentionally done a disservice to the party.

Yesterday, Zaid claimed that his opponents have tried to pay a prominent blogger to attack him by falsely accusing him of vote buying and being in cahoots with Daim Zainuddin to destroy PKR.

The Federal Territory chief also drew parallels between the late Ghafar Baba and himself by declaring that he is willing to risk being “buried” like Ghafar in the 1993 Umno party elections.

To have gone public with these statements, according to Cheah, was unnecessary and may have had an adverse effect on the party image.

“This is an internal party election and such matters should remain within the party,” she told FMT when contacted. “Whatever strategies that the candidates employ should not be at the expense of the party image. The party must come before oneself.”

“An election is a process for people to choose their leaders, not an opportunity for candidates to slander each other. And I want to be clear that this applies to all candidates and not just Zaid.”

‘Not practising level playing field’

The straight-talking Cheah, who was part of the election watchdog during the 1999 general election, added that Zaid’s insinuation of being “buried” like Ghafar in a comparison of two political parties, was uncalled for.

She also requested Zaid to lodge a formal complaint with the committee with evidence of his allegations so that the committee can investigate to take the necessary action, if any.

“But I can assure that if we do decide to take action, it will be a private matter,” she said. “We will not address this matter publicly so that it can be sensationalised.”

Cheah also touched on yesterday’s show of support by 20 PKR MPs for party vice-president Azmin Ali to retain his current position.

“I’m disappointed that these MPs give the impression that their public announcement of such support would influence members in their constituencies to vote their choice,” she said.