Former Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (Kita) president Zaid Ibrahim has explained why he is best suited to contest against Prime Minister Najib Razak in the Pekan parliamentary seat.
However, he also stressed that he will not apply to contest on a Pakatan Rakyat ticket.
“This is not a desperate act to look for a seat to contest as some have claimed. It is also not true that I have applied to PKR or any opposition party to be the Pekan candidate,” he wrote on his blog ‘Zaid Untuk Rakyat’ last night.
“I have said it before and I will say it again: I will not apply to any political party to be a candidate.”
Zaid, who stepped down as Parti Kita president for health reasons, has expressed his intention to contest in Pekan in the next general election on a Pakatan ticket if PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang does not contest the seat.
Hadi had earlier said he was willing to contest in any seat, including Pekan, which is a BN stronghold.
However, PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail expressed surprise, saying that Zaid has not formally relayed his plan to Pakatan.
In his blog posting, Zaid conceded that Parti Kita is “too small and new” to give him a credible platform but that he wants to help the opposition coalition in any way he can.
“Hadi will face a tough time in Pekan, and I wonder why he should be put there at such risk. He is PAS president and for the sake of its own long-term viability, PAS cannot afford to have a president who loses in an election.
“That sort of risk, however, can be undertaken by someone who is not interested to be a minister or national leader, and who is willing to contest just to move the country forward on the right footing.”
Taking on Najib
The former federal minister further said he has the capacity to debate Najib on issues that are important to the country.
“I am interested to take on the prime minister because he represents all that is wrong with Malaysia today. Our country is divided, our poor are getting poorer and there is no sign that endemic corruption and abuse of power will abate any time soon.
“Najib has carried out some reforms and I have praised him for that, but it’s not enough. He still has ‘cowboy’ ministers in his cabinet and politics have taken over our public institutions, which will only divide us further. He has no answers to these conundrums; if he has, he is afraid to implement them.”
Zaid, who remains a central committee member of Parti Kita, called on Pakatan leaders not to respond to his offer “in a small-minded way”.
“They should not be afraid to engage me or to continue to bad mouth me, as I am no threat to anyone. We have to be inclusive and united to make this country better,” he added. – Mkini