Thursday 9 September 2010

Zaid Ibrahim : Are his intentions honorable?

I do not know Zaid Ibrahim. I first heard of him when Pak Lah reshuffled his cabinet and appointed him as a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department to oversee legal affairs and judicial reform. That same day a comment from one of my PAS friend over lunch made me take note. He asked me if Pak Lah knew who Zaid really is? I looked over to him across the table and waited for him to continue. He did not. I left it at that because I know better then to ask for more than what he was prepared to tell me.

The next time I heard about Zaid was when he said that the government had to apologise to Tun Salleh Abbas for his sacking as Lord President of the Supreme Court because:

"Serious transgressions has been committed by the previous administration…. and we are sorry."

I thought that while it sounded good it was only putting into words what Pak Lah himself felt about the whole matter!

By now I have heard of the rumblings within UMNO against Zaid. Pak Lah himself was having problems trying to deflect these rumblings. Matters came to a head when UMNO supreme council decided to sack Zaid for attending a PKR congress. If anything this confirms to me that people with money will do what they want to do – and Zaid had the money to attend a PKR congress while he was still in UMNO and damm the consequence  - UMNO or no UMNO.

Less than a year later he was with PKR.

In the time that he has been with PKR he has made all the right noises and done the right things to make us think that this was a man prepared to work to make PKR stronger from within and without. It seems that everything he did was for the good of the party. I told myself that PKR had need of people like him.

But you are either pregnant or you are not. You are either a politician or you are not one. A politician without power or position is a politician with nothing. Zaid had already lost a by-election in the Hulu Selangor in April 2010 and he had nothing.

I started to see attempts by Zaid towards self-promotion of himself within PKR and Pakatan Rakyat – more as a statesman within Pakatan Rakyat - as the fabric that held Pakatan Rakyat together. The man prepared to do the hard work to keep things together for PR.

Just less then two months ago he had confirmed that he would not contest for any post within PKR and saw his role as the “campaign manager”.

So I was indeed disappointed when he changed his mind recently and chose to go for the Number Two post because if confirmed to me his needs as a politician to always push the envelope in matters of personal interest – that he had a personal agenda within PKR!

My question to Zaid is this.


Is PKR a means to an end  - to be used as a vehicle to put you back in political power? 

The moment you thought you had a chance to be number two you went for it! Now how much of this was made possible because you had the money to do so, how much of it was because you really believe that you would make a good deputy to Anwar – and how much of it was to position yourself to be Prime Minister of Malaysia if and when the opportunity present itself or maybe President of PKR should Anwar lose his Sodomy Two trial!

I had hoped that in Zaid we have someone who had enough money to forgo power and all the trappings that power brings to you. I had hoped that in Zaid we have an able administrator capable of holding Pakatan Rakyat together because he always promoted himself as the fabric that held Pakatan Rakyat together – across the whole spectrum of DAP, PAS and PKR. I had hoped that Zaid belonged to Pakatan Rakyat not to just PKR.

And he disappointed me.

The lure of power and holding office took precedent over the interest of the people within Pakatan Rakyat. I hope I am wrong about Zaid because we have need of the Zaid that had once put Pakatan Rakyat’s interest above his own. To me going for the number two posts within PKR is not the way to go.

Zaid need to understand that right now in PKR he is the problem and not the solution. He is the cause of dissent within PKR. To come in at this late stage for the number two post and suggest an Anwar/Zaid partnership within PKR indicates that this is something that has been on his mind for quite sometime – or has all this talk about not contesting for any post within PKR merely posturing?

PKR and Pakatan Rakyat do not have need of a leader who speaks untruth. Remember we are not UMNO. Zaid himself has cautioned PKR to not be an UMNO clone.

It is presumptuous of Zaid to suggest an Anwar/Zaid partnership. To me that should be for Anwar to say.

I was upset with Anwar when he went against Ghaffar AFTER telling us that he will not! What Anwar did have left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouth and it has taken many years for us to get over that incident.

If Zaid wants to lead, do so. But do so in a manner that is fair and proper. Upsetting a large number of people within PKR is not the way to go. It will only pull PKR apart before, during and after the election. Something that we will not want for a PKR that is still trying to steady itself after a bruising period of defections and in fighting.

It is not a matter of Zaid not being in PKR long enough to earn the right to contest any post but time spent within any organization must also be considered important when one is considering the suitability of a leader because it indicates loyalty, staying power and personal commitment and sacrifices. Let us not talk about Anwar’s time within PKR – without Anwar there is no PKR. Without Anwar there is no PR and without Anwar, in all probability, we will still have no credible opposition in Parliament and Mahathir might still be PM!          

Zaid needs to have all of PKR behind him if he wants to lead PKR. Before that I would like some indication from Zaid that when he is in PKR he will not go to any UMNO perhimpunan or gathering. I would like some indication that he will abide by party’s directive and not “do as he like” simply because he can. Without discipline any political party will collapse from within. Yes there are problems within PKR and PR but he must see these problems as an opportunity for him to work for change from within. Wrecking PKR apart by asking the members to choose between himself and any body else for a position within PKR is not the way to go.

I thought Zaid’s initial decision to not do this was because he did not want to pull PKR apart but now I do not know anymore. Of course we must accept that any decision made by Zaid will not find total acceptance by everyone in PKR. But for now he has to decide what is best for PKR. A PKR divided within itself will fall – if not now then at the next general election.

Zaid forgo position and power. Do the right thing for PKR and hold it together. Hold Pakatan Rakyat together! You will disappoint many if you choose to do otherwise.


Zaid while you were in the Cabinet I did sent you two emails in June 2008 and part of the email is reproduced here for your reference and it contents are self explanatory. I do hope that it was an oversight on your part to ignore my emails because I would hate to think that you chose not to respond to my appeal because it presented no political gain or had any political significance for you then.

For your information Dato the AG did make a decision to go back on his decision to award the RM1.5 million  - Amri was finally awarded only Rm$900,000.00 (Nine Hundred Thousand Ringgit only!). The Ag giveth, the AG taketh!

Hussein Hamid
Add to Contacts

zaid ibrahim

Dato this is my second e mail to you on the matter. You did not extend me the courtesy of acknowledging my first email - whether you were too busy or could not bothered to do so is for you to know. Nevertheless I am compel to write again due to the latest development of this matter in the AG's chambers. I have been informed by the plaintiff that Dato kamaluddin of the AG's office have informed him that the initial offer of $1.5 million as per AG's letter AG'a letter PN/WKL/HQ/SZF/13/36/2006 dated 25th September 2007 is no longer valid.
I would not want to speculate as to the reasons for this change but suffice for me to say that I have instructed the plaintiff TO NOT DO ANY DEALS with any body in order to secure what has already been offered to him. For your information it was Dato kamaluddin himself who advised me that the plaintiff should write in and accept the offer and this the plaintiff have done as instructed.  I hope that you would have enough interest in this situation to ensure that the AG's chambers will do the right thing for the plaintiff. Can't they get it through their thick head that the Rakyaat will only take so much from the authorities. 

Hussein Hamid


  1. Bro, it would be good if you wrote something similar about Azmin Ali. From what is known and seen of Azmin, he appears merely an Anwar loyalist to the core with nary an indication of his true political ideology nor concrete contributions like the Common Policy Platform.

    Azmin seems to appear only adept at UMNO-style politicking and may not have the intellectual capacity to run a country.

    Give me a Zaid anytime.

  2. Dear Sdr Hussein,

    Congratulations on an objective post. I sent this e-mail to Malaysian Insider, Malaysiakini and the Nut Graph but none decided to publish it. I think more scrutiny should be placed on Zaid Ibrahim, as much as I respect him as a person but I just have too many questions which the media have not satisfactorily answered.

    My Open Letter to Dato' Zaid Ibrahim

    Dear Dato’ Zaid Ibrahim,

    I must say I admire you for your courage in resigning from cabinet on the issue of the Internal Security Act and your efforts at trying to make amends for the judicial crisis in 1987. Congratulations. It is
    unfortunate that you did not win the Hulu Selangor by-election. I have read your book, I Too am Malay and am truly inspired.

    But I have yet to get a satisfactory answer on a few questions. I had been hoping more people to ask these questions, but it seems that you are a darling of the liberal media which would not bother you on these issues. But I really hope to get honest answers on these questions.

    First, the issue of your stand at the beginning of the judicial crisis in 1987. Was it true that you formed the Muslim Lawyers Association upon Tun Dr. Mahathir’s instruction in order to counter the Bar Council critical stand? Why did you form the Association when we all knew that at least at that point in your life you led a very liberal lifestyle? While you claimed you did not endorse the sacking of Lord President Tun Salleh Abas, you accepted Tun Hamid Omar to chair the tribunal to try Salleh and distanced yourself from the Bar Council’s boycott of Hamid.

    You continued with your battles with the Bar Council in 1992 when you proposed Justice Minister Syed Hamid Albar to be made President of the Bar Council.

    Secondly, the growth of Zaid Ibrahim & Co to become Malaysia’s biggest legal firm. As much as I would like to think that ZICO was a success on its own, many have pointed that your firm was rewarded with contracts following your support for Mahathir during the judicial crisis and the UMNO split. Is it true you benefitted from UMNO through the awards of contracts from UEM and Bakun? I remember you were even investigated for insider trading with Tan Sri Bashir Ismail, Bank Bumiputra Chairman and Renong Berhad Executive Chairman, Halim Saad.

    Thirdly, your love-hate relationship with PKR. My friends in Gerakan informed me that you actually considered joining Gerakan before actually joining PKR. I congratulate you for having that courage. But shortly after being appointed to the Political Bureau you then expressed your desire to take a six-months leave. Subsequently you returned to the Political Bureau. Yet you continued blogging against the party leadership.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for freedom of speech but also there
    should be collective responsibility. Why, if you are really unhappy with PKR, accept the nomination for Hulu Selangor and subsequently as PKR Wilayah Chief? While you have criticised the party at many junctures, I believe to be fair the party has given you many
    responsibilities in spite of being new and critical. It would be good
    once in a while for you to have something good to say to friends who have been in the party much longer than you are.

    I hope you can answer these questions so that I can truly be assured of your commitment to change and reform.

    Azman Shamsuddin

  3. I just realised Malaysiakini decided to publish my letter. Kudos to them.