NOV 8 — It is no surprise to hear that Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has dropped out of the race for the PKR deputy presidency. Or quit all party posts.
It is no surprise that he feels “that any political party with such hypocritical and false values will not be able to offer meaningful reforms to the people of this country.”
It is no surprise that he doesn’t feel wanted anymore by the party. That his offer to run for the deputy presidency was seen by the “adoring fans of Anwar Ibrahim as a ‘spoiler’ standing in the way of their march to Putrajaya”.
The same thing happened to him in Umno. He joined the Abdullah administration in the aftermath of Election 2008 as the de facto law minister only to quit later over the detention of DAP leader Teresa Kok, blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng under the Internal Security Act (ISA).
The one-time Kota Baru MP was later kicked out of Umno after he was seen attending gatherings held by the party’s political foes.
The maverick politician joined PKR in June 2009 and was given a hero’s welcome but has apparently worn out that welcome with his run for the party’s No. 2 post.
He had big plans for the party. The lawyer, who built up the country’s largest partnership that bears his name, ran the secretariat to turn the informal Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact into a formal organisation comprising PKR, DAP and PAS.
He even quit the party political bureau to quell talk of ambition to replace Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim if the PKR de facto chief was ever jailed for sodomy again.
And offered to run for the No. 2 post if Anwar ran for the party presidency in its first-ever direct elections. Anwar declined.
But Zaid never seemed serious about his candidacy. His candidacy was contingent on Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim not entering the race. But he persisted when Khalid mulled the proposition.
He did the same when asking Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar to join the contest. She said no.
Today, Zaid pulled back his hat from the ring, citing “there is no attempt on the part of the party leadership to address the various issues of manipulation and unfair electoral practices, although these issues were raised repeatedly.”
It came as no surprise to many. It was always a matter of time especially after the votes from the Sabah chapter went the way of the popular vice-president Azmin Ali.
But Zaid joined PKR with both his eyes open. It’s a party built on the dreams of many but crafted from the DNA of Umno where most leaders, including Zaid, came from. Some things never change.
A pity. Zaid and others might have their grouses but his latest move will narrow his options. HIs image will also take a hit.
What he and PKR does in the next few days will be interesting. But no surprises expected.