Former minister Zaid Ibrahim has cautioned Malaysians against falling for the argument that Malaysia will be fine if Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is defeated in the coming general election.
“The thinking is that if the opposition can be united, not on fundamental political principles, but on seat allocation, then Najib will be defeated.
“I have heard of this political message before and I am appalled that it’s still being advocated with enthusiasm by so-called reformists,” Zaid said in a speech delivered at a political ceramah.
He noted how many Kelantanese heeded Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s call to stand against Umno in his bid to oust then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1987.
In the process, Zaid said, PAS took over the state in 1990 and continues to remain in power until now.
“In that time, did Kelantan undergo the necessary political and social transformation to advance it towards democracy and rule of law? No.
“Has it now practised good governance? No.
“Has Tengku Razaleigh now become our beacon of hope? No
“What we got instead was PAS, a Taliban-style political power that is now moving for an amendment in Parliament for unlimited powers to the syariah court, so it can open the new road to hudud. So much for one-to-one,” he added in the speech, which was uploaded in his blog.
In the 2008 and 2013 elections, Zaid said, PAS was again roped in with great enthusiasm, just because the party agreed not to talk about hudud for a while.
“But its true colours surfaced eventually – PAS rejected Anwar Ibrahim’s leadership, and later it even said DAP was against Islam and harmful and dangerous to Muslims.
“The pact was broken, and it could not last because it was based on convenience. By that time, it was sharing power in Selangor, until today. Many in PKR still want to embrace PAS because they are afraid to lose power if they abandon PAS,” Zaid added.
Another PM aspirant in the picture
Without mentioning names, Zaid said there is now another aspirant for the prime minister’s post, who has promised to bring PAS to the negotiating table to ensure a one-to-one fights against BN.
This leader, he said, would serve as a bridge to negotiate seat allocations because PAS has refused to communicate with DAP and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah).
“This idea of pursuing a one-to-one fight is being perpetrated by those who want to be PM.
“What they should be doing is canvassing for a one-to-one fight based on political beliefs of equality, of non-discrimination, and an agreement to uphold the dignity of all Malaysians.
“This country does not need politicians who offer a quick fix solution, just by changing the prime minister.
“We have to start from ground zero, to remove all traces of what has gone wrong; and restore leaders who are honest and set up a new agenda for the country based on fairness and protecting the dignity of all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion,” he added.
Emphasising that there should be no shortcuts, Zaid said politics, like marriage, required one to choose a partner with care.
“They must be partners who are committed to the fundamental principles by which this country must be governed. There are things we can negotiate, and there are things that define us and are not negotiable,” he added.
On this note, the former minister urged Malaysian voters to think clearly before casting their ballots in the next general election.
“You can vote for PKR and Anwar Ibrahim because he, like Dr Mahathir, realised the errors of Umno and now wants to put things right.
“You can vote for DAP because it’s the party that has consistently defended democracy and the Federal Constitution.
“You can vote for Amanah because it’s a Malay/Muslim-based party that is moderate, and which sees Islam as compatible with democracy and good governance,” Zaid added.