There are times when principles and opportunism go hand in hand and at times they are separated by a very fine line by doubters and purists. Not unlike the Taliban who is a Jihadist in one camp and a terrorist in another. Now where do we put Zaid Ibrahim?
I wrote the above paragraph about two weeks ago and for the life of me I could not find a way forward. What should come next? That is until this morning when I saw Zaid’s piece “Fighting for a better Malaysia” in Free Malaysia Today:
In that article I saw again in Zaid what I saw when he left Pak Lah’s Cabinet in September 2008 and when he left PKR in 2010.
For Zaid it was always about anything else but him!
His resignation from Pak Lah’s cabinet was not about him not being given the Defense, Finance or DPM post. It was not about him not being given any project or any contract. It was about his concern for the rights of Teresa Kok, Raja Petra and Tan Hoon Cheng.
In PKR he withdrew his candidacy for the party post of Deputy President as a sign of protest against serious allegations of fraud and electoral misconduct perpetrated by his opponent Azmin Ali – allegations that were proven to have substance in the party’s elections held in 2010.
And today in his article in FMT he is writing not about Zaid Ibrahim or KITA but about Hindraf and Raja Petra.
He writes about remembering the contributions of these two towards Pakatan Rakyat success in the 2008 general elections. He writes about Petra relentless assault on the ISA and Petra tireless online campaign for the opposition.
And he reminds us of what Hindraf was able to do in mobilizing the poor and marginalized Indian community – a feat Zaid believes Hindraf will be able to do again come the 13th general election.
And then Zaid being Zaid, he takes a swipe at Petra and calls Petra a maverick that “will say and do things we don’t approve of” and tells us that some of Hindraf demands, “were questionable and perhaps unreasonable”. Vintage Zaid! Always telling it as it is!
But there is one word he used that I wished I had thought of:
This to me is the essence of what Pakatan Rakyat, MCLM, Hindraf, Petra and the bloggers that he gave birth to, and all of us that want change - this INCLUSIVENESS is the fabric that will bind us together in our journey towards Putrajaya.
INCLUSIVENESS is the fabric that will protect us from the ravages of an UMNO that will stop at nothing to secure more time to plunder and pillage our nation.
INCLUSIVENESS is our armour, our sustenanace and the strength we need to take us where we want to go. PUTRAJAYA.
For me Zaid is that breed of Malaysian who transcend ethnicity, who is masters of his own destiny. Masters because they think for themselves the right and wrong of issues and situations they are faced with. And this is not the done thing in a Malaysia where you are usually the product of race, religion and your peers. Zaid took whatever opportunities that came his way but only so that those opportunities are used to enable him to live up to his own principle in taking care of the big picture - Malaysia and its people - not himself.
His time in UMNO and PKR are well documented and does not need any further introspection but his future does! I want to see what he will do with his life from now! Will he make his peace with PKR? With Anwar and Azmin? Or more to the point will Anwar and Azmin allow Zaid to make his peace with them?
There is nothing personal in this. It is for Party and not for self. Zaid is needed in Pakatan Rakyat if we are to succeed against UMNO. Pakatan Rakyat does not need to go looking for him he is already there ready and willing to do his part unconditionally. And Pakatan Rakyat must take him in unconditionally.
What he writes in FMT today reaffirms what we hope Zaid will do for Pakatan Rakyat and for all those who are with Pakatan Rakyat and those in Pakatan Rakyat.
It need not be said that this INCLUSIVENESS include DSAI and those that will take DSAI mantle when the need arise.
I for one will be watching closely developments within Pakatan Rakyat and PKR as we all do more then pay lip service to INCLUSIVENESS within the opposition. As for Zaid Ibrahim - cakap mesti serupa bikin!