Zaid denies being backed by businessman

By Stephanie Sta Maria, Free Malaysia Today

KUAL A LUMPUR: Zaid Ibrahim has hotly refuted allegations that he is being financially backed by a businessman to infiltrate and destroy PKR.

In his latest blog posting, the PKR supreme council member asserted that he has no links with businessman Soh Chee Wen whom he claimed to have only met nine months ago.

Soh was charged in May 2002 with abetment in submitting false information to the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. He is also known for accusing former transport minister Dr Ling Liong Sik of being involved in corruption, cronyism and nepotism.

“Yesterday, Selangor PKR deputy chief Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud warned of enemies within the party but he didn’t mention any names or numbers,” Zaid said. “Since the party elections began, the term ‘enemy within’ has often been heard. I suppose this refers to anyone who has offered his services without the necessary blessings.”

Zaid, who flew in to Kuching yesterday to hear the High Court’s decision on case involving native land, said that even party leaders there had questioned his loyalty.

“Is this what the campaign has resorted to? Calling me a traitor and a greenhorn?” he asked in disgust. “As far as I know, Chee Wen is a close friend of Anwar’s and has been of assistance to PKR. (PKR vice-president) Azmin Ali, Syed Shahrir and (Johor PKR chief) Chua Jui Meng all know this.”

“So I find it highly peculiar that Chee Wen is being portrayed as the enemy because he is now friends with me when all throughout his friendship with Anwar, he was a viewed as the good guy.”

The election campaign issue, according to Zaid, is very straightforward. If party members are satisfied with PKR’s current standing and believe that all its problems and weaknesses are Umno’s doing, then he strongly encourages them to choose their leaders from the existing stable.