Zaid: I’m best for Kajang because I’m politically-free

Zaid Ibrahim

(MM) – Datuk Zaid Ibrahim declared today that he is the “best option” for Kajang, touting his political independence as the edge to be the real check-and-balance to the power-play in the Selangor legislative assembly.

Acknowledging that independent candidates are usually viewed with suspicion, Zaid insisted that he would best poised to speak up for Kajang voters without having to toe the party lines of both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

“In whichever way you look at it, I am the best option for Kajang, and this is all possible because I am an independent,” the former minister wrote on his blog today.

“When a representative is financially independent, when he need not kow-tow to the bosses of established political parties, when he need not worry about his political rise to power, then he can be a real asset and fighter for the Rakyat,” he said in the same blog post.

Zaid will be up against PKR’s de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and MCA’s vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun in the Kajang contest, both whom he saw as being unable to tear away from considerations on how their actions would affect their parties.

In asking voters to trust in him as a “truly independent” voice, Zaid argued that he could play the role of elected lawmaker far better than both Chew and Anwar, illustrating his position by saying he could speak for them against Putrajaya’s policies “without fear” of ministers.

“If for example the political stability in Selangor is put at risk by Anwar coming into the Kajang by-election, then who else will stand up to him and explain these issues to Pakatan supporters?” he asked.

He also alluded to speculation that Anwar may replace Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as the next Selangor mentri besar, saying that if Kajang voters elected him, they could be assured that he was not looking to vie for greater power.

“If for example Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim remains in power as MB and yet there are legitimate concerns about his policies not reaching the Rakyat, as claimed by Anwar, then I will try to persuade Khalid to change his policies.

“I am not interested in taking his place so he may be more inclined to listen to me,” Zaid said.

Zaid also said Chew may not make much of a difference or provide a “check and balance” in the Selangor state assembly, pointing out that BN is only a minority with less than a quarter of seats there.

With Kajang purportedly only being “Anwar’s passport to greater things”, Zaid said that the politician’s growing list of responsibilities would block him from having time to look at the needs of the people such as an adequate waste collection system and the resolution of traffic jams in Kajang.

Zaid said he could afford to spend more time on Kajang residents compared to Anwar, who will be “soon be embroiled in another trial” over a sodomy charge which he has previously been acquitted of.

“Also he is expected to be PKR President in addition to being MP Permatang Pauh, MB of Selangor, Opposition leader, and planning for Putrajaya takeover,” said the former PKR member who later struck out on his own.

Anwar is likely to contest for the PKR presidency in the party polls this April, while talks that he could move to take over the reins of the Selangor state administration if he wins Kajang continues to persist.

The Kajang by-election was triggered by the unforced resignation of PKR’s Lee Chin Cheh last month.

Lee had won the state constituency last year with a significant margin of 6,824 votes.

The Kajang constituency is 48 per cent Malay, 41 per cent Chinese and 10 per cent Indian.