Federal Territories PKR chief Zaid Ibrahim has refuted claims that he is an 'enemy of the party', and that he is paid by businessman Soh Chee Wen to destabilise it from within.
“I don't really want to answer all these allegations, but something as unbelievable as this must be refuted,” he said in a posting on his blog yesterday.
Zaid related how he was approached by PKR leaders when he arrived in Kuching to hear the High Court decision on a NCR land case, and was asked if he was being funded by Soh to sabotage the party.
“Soh, as far as I know, is a close friend and confidant of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and has been helping out PKR,” explained Zaid.
“Party vice-president Azmin Ali, Kelana Jaya chief Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud and Johor chief Chua Jui Meng knew all this.”
Zaid said he only got to know Soh when he was appointed by Anwar as a PKR political bureau member nine months ago.
“It is inconceivable for Soh to suddenly be depicted as a villain just because he became close friends with me. But when he was close to Anwar, he was a saviour? Isn't this peculiar? I don't need to be funded by Soh or anyone (else).”
Zaid noted that the 'enemy' tag has been cropping up regularly of late, with party elections just around the bend.
“It seems that anyone who has offered to run during the party elections, but is not liked (by certain parties), is being labelled as an enemy of the party and opposed to the struggle (for reform).
“Is this their way of campaigning these days? (By) accusing me of being a traitor and that I am new and untried?”
The former Umno stalwart said he only offered to be a candidate in order to provide an alternative for PKR members in their choice of leaders.
“How I can be an asset to the party? I will explain in full if I get a nomination later,” he said.
Zaid also argued that the deputy presidency - which he wants to contest - is a powerless post. He believes that being Number Two in politics is only for the glamour and name, and comes without real clout. This is especially so in PKR, he said, where even the president does not have the powers that their de facto leader (Anwar Ibrahim,) holds, a post which is incontestable.
“I don't really understand all this ruckus about the Number Two post,” said Zaid.
'Be mature and progressive'
Zaid opined that the solution to the issue is simple enough, without need to resort to dirty tactics or coercive means. If PKR members are happy with the 'reformasi' leaders, they should choose those from the 1998 period to lead, he said. If they believe that all the party's problems stem from Umno's inventive 'Trojan horse' meddling, then they should choose the current 'new' line-up to lead.
The PKR elections are the first for the party and indeed, said Zaid, marks a first in Malaysian politics. He insisted that this is an opportunity to prove that the party is capable of democratic elections, especially with the voting being watched by the entire country.
“Let the voting process and party elections be conducted as a 'friendly contest'. We as a party must show the rakyat that PKR is a mature and progressive party,” he added.