KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — Barisan Nasional (BN) deputy chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today the coalition is ready to face former Umno minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim in the Hulu Selangor by-election.
“We know Zaid Ibrahim’s background very well, but we are willing to face anyone,” said Muhyiddin who is also the deputy prime minister.
He was asked about the former de facto law minister’s candidacy which was made known after PKR’s political bureau meeting this morning.
“If the Hulu Selangor voters want to know about Zaid Ibrahim they can go to Kota Bharu and see for themselves. He was the Kota Bharu MP and also the Umno division chief,” Muhyiddin told reporters in Perlis.
“In this by-election we will have a lot to talk about Zaid Ibrahim,” he said.
BN will name its candidate on Thursday in what is a toss-up between MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel and Hulu Selangor Youth chief V. Mugilan.
PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will formally announce the party’s candidate at a public rally in Serendah tonight.
Zaid, who was sacked from Umno for attending opposition party events, joined PKR last year and was subsequently appointed to the party’s political bureau.
He was also responsible for drawing up the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) common policy framework aimed at bringing together the loose coalition of PAS, PKR and DAP.
A controversial figure, Zaid resigned from the Cabinet in late 2008 to protest the ISA arrest of Selangor executive councillor Teresa Kok, blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng.
In 2002, he sued the PAS-led Kelantan and Terengganu governments for attempting to enact Islamic criminal laws. The suit was subsequently withdrawn.
We will be ready for Zaid, says Muhyiddin