Zaid Ibrahim joins ‘taboo’ DAP


(FMT) – Former Umno minister commits to opposition political party after more than three years on the sidelines.

Outspoken former minister Zaid Ibrahim today became the latest prominent Malay to join DAP, ending speculation about his political future after more than three years staying out of political parties.

“I believe DAP, together with Pakatan Harapan, can stem the tide of Talibanisation that has changed the Malay identity beyond recognition,” the outspoken former minister told a press conference at his home today, adding that he was aware that “DAP is taboo to some Malays”.

The press conference was attended by top DAP leaders, including Lim Kit Siang, Amanah leaders Dzulkefly Ahmad and Khalid Samad, as well as Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad and PPBM supreme council members Sanusi Junid and A Kadir Jasin.

This is the third political party Zaid has joined since his resignation in 2008 from Umno. He also quit his cabinet post under then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

A year later, he joined PKR, before falling out with its deputy president Azmin Ali. He then revived a little-known party to set up Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (Kita), before announcing that he was quitting politics altogether in 2013.

Zaid, who is an outspoken critic of the Barisan Nasional federal government, said his choice of DAP was due to the performance of the DAP-led state government in Penang.

“In Penang, we have a state government that offers good administration, provides better housing and cleaner streets, as well as creates jobs for the people. That’s what good politics does – it solves people’s problems.”

Saying DAP was being attacked by Umno with the help of PAS, Zaid urged Malays to be brave in breaking taboos, citing several lines from national laureate Usman Awang.

zaiddapZaid again launched his trademark criticism of PAS, saying the Islamist party, which is not part of the Pakatan Harapan coalition, was selling “religious products” and promoting “outdated ideas”.

“They are stripping Malays of their culture, of basic rights, of choice and of their dignity. PAS has done nothing to solve the real problems of the people.

“It doesn’t have anything resembling an economic plan. It does not have a plan for education.

“It doesn’t even try to do simple things like clear blocked drains, stop flash floods or collect rubbish regularly in the state that they govern,” he said, referring to the PAS-led Kelantan state government.

The lawyer who is known for speaking out against religious conservatism said it was time for Malays to go back to their values instead of listening to those who peddle religion.

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