Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who is rumoured to be thinking of leaving the ruling party, blamed a 'culture of fear' for the country's race relation problems.He said that 'those with political power' had left race relations a sensitive issue even after 50 years of independence.
'When we face an issue, we cannot discuss it, we cannot debate it. We only use fear or we take to the streets. That is not the way things are done in a mature society,' he said.
The former minister in the Prime Minister's Department aired his views in an interview with the Chinese-language Sin Chew Daily, his most extensive since he resigned over recent arrests under the ISA.The interview also came soon after Mr Zaid wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi arguing for the Act to be repealed. In it, he accused his party of using race politics to win support.
'Umno feels that it is a party needed by the Malays. Umno leaders keep telling the Malays that they are constantly in danger and therefore need Umno,' he was quoted as saying by online news portal The Malaysian Insider.
'They always feel that only they know what is good for the Malays.'
Calling for more open debate on race issues, he said it was no longer necessary for 'one party to represent one race' anymore.
Mr Zaid himself has been at the centre of speculation that he would leave Umno for the opposition.He did not comment on this in the Sin Chew Daily interview, but appeared to hint at it when speaking to the New Straits Times.
'I have given 20 years of my political life (to Umno) and I have got into a lot of difficulties because of my views, and not that I was disloyal,' he was quoted as saying.
'I have been suspended from the party for nothing and the latest, disqualified from running for (the Kota Baru) division election.
'So what do you want me to do if you are in my position?'
source: the Sunday Times,Singapore
To all those UMNO diehards and the Malays out there, we are living in the year 2008 not 1946, think out off the box and make a wise decision. Lets save Malaysia from destruction from UMNO's race base politics...........
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