[I always wondered if Zaid was a trojan horse. I think Anwar took him in way too soon.] - Hum Yee
Anwar says Zaid free to go
UPDATED @ 03:20:47 18-11-2010
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today that Datuk Zaid Ibrahim was free to leave PKR, pointing out that the party had given the former minister many chances and special treatment.
Speaking to reporters in Permatang Pauh, Penang here this morning, Anwar said PKR had on many occasions accommodated Zaid’s wishes, adding that the latter had asked to become a PKR member following his sacking from Umno in 2008.
“He also asked to be candidate for Hulu Selangor (parliamentary by-election) although it was rejected by the division and they raised their objections to the president.
“But we gave him a chance, and when he lost in Hulu Selangor, we gave him a chance to lead the Federal Territories PKR,” said Anwar.
Zaid confirmed this week that he would quit PKR and was expected to make a formal announcement tomorrow.
Last week, the maverick politician dropped out of the party’s deputy presidential race, after claiming irregularities and manipulation in favour of rival Azmin Ali.
Zaid had said he wanted to quit PKR because of the increasing personal attacks by some party members against him.
Accusing PKR leaders of being “liars” and “cheats”, Zaid added that he was “sick of the sick leaders” within the party.
He has become increasingly critical of the party leadership in recent weeks, going as far as asking Anwar, the party’s de facto leader, and Azmin to quit their posts for the sake of the party.
Anwar also clarified today that Zaid had not been appointed Pakatan Rakyat (PR) co-ordinator, suggesting that his departure from PKR would have no bearing on the coalition.
“I usually chaired all the Pakatan meetings and to my knowledge, he was never appointed the co-ordinator,” said Anwar.
Zaid’s move to leave PKR is likely to see him lose most of his allies from PR parties and his options to stay relevant in Malaysian politics appear limited, mostly because of his failure to mobilise new supporters.
When Zaid joined PKR, he was labelled a successor to de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the only other person capable of keeping the PR coalition and its leaders of different ideologies intact.
He was appointed to the party’s political bureau and once enjoyed the support of many of the PKR supreme council members because of his willingness to resign from the Cabinet to protest the ISA arrest of Selangor executive councillor Teresa Kok, blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng.
Zaid however began to lose popularity when he decided to go on leave from the political bureau amid a power tussle in the Sabah PKR leadership.
He was also tasked with drafting the PR Common Policy Framework launched last December.