PETALING JAYA – February 7, 2017: After consistently refuting rumours over his intention to join DAP, political journeyman Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has finally joined the party.
Speaking during a press conference at his home here today, the former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said he hoped his presence in DAP would dispel allegations that the Chinese-dominated party is anti-Malay and anti-Islam.
“I know of the Malays’ disdain for DAP. They don’t even want to hear its name,” said Zaid, who was previously a member of Umno, PKR and also president of the now-defunct Kita.
“But I want to show the Malays that DAP isn’t like what Najib (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak) is telling them.
“DAP is a party that has been fighting corruption for almost 50 years and no one can deny that it has elevated Penangites’ quality of life in its just eight years of governance,” Zaid said.
He also accused Umno of continuously using hate and racial politics in its campaign against DAP.
“I want the Malays to realise that DAP is not what Najib and Umno say it is, and I am confident that I can do a good job in convincing the Malays more than he (Najib) can.
“Unlike Najib, I can relate more with the common Malays because I am not from an aristocratic family. My father was just a farmer,” Zaid insisted.
He stressed that he does not want any post in DAP because “what’s important to me is that, I can one day tell my grandchildren that I was among those who freed the country from kleptocracy.”
Speculations over Zaid’s interest to join DAP started two years ago after national laureate Datuk A. Samad Said joined the party in June the same year.
DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, who was present to approve Zaid’s membership application said the former minister’s involvement in the party would strengthen the opposition.
“I know that many are thinking, how long will he stays with us (DAP). But I believe that Zaid is a team player, not a prima donna.
“He and those who support the opposition’s cause will help us to make Malaysia great again,” said Lim.
So far, the last prominent Malay figurehead who had not only joined DAP but was also appointed to a key party post was its former vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim.
In 2008, he cited “shared values and ideals” as the reason why he joined the party but Tunku Aziz however, left DAP four years later due to “irreconcilable difference”. He has since became a fierce critic of DAP.
In November last year, DAP had also lost another prominent member, Shamser Singh Thind, of the party’s Chai Leng park branch.
The law lecturer quit the party a week after he lashed out at some DAP veterans and leaders when they agreed with the party’s stance in wanting to cooperate with Dr Mahathir during the party’s annual convention,.
Pribumi Bersatu chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was also at the press conference congratulated Zaid’s decision to join DAP.
Dr Mahathir, however, described it as a “weird decision” because it was rare for someone who was once an Umno member to join DAP.
“Nevertheless, I hope that he will stay in DAP for a while longer because you know, Malaysia has a lot ‘frogs’ that likes to jump around,” quipped Dr Mahathir in an obvious reference to Zaid’s colourful political journey.