SERENDAH, April 20 — Under attack for his allegedly poor morals, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim last night continued to take the moral high road in dealing with his detractors in the race for Hulu Selangor.
Stumping in an early round at the public hall in Kampung Datuk Harun here, the PKR candidate told some 300 people who turned up despite the heavy rain that that he was under attack from Umno and Umno-owned media who wanted to shift the spotlight from the real issues affecting the constituency onto his personal failings.
He urged them not to fall for it. He reminded them of the many unfulfilled vows made by the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates trooping into Hulu Selangor in the past elections and urged them to give him a chance to be their voice in Parliament.
[Anwar Ibrahim greets avid PKR supporters while on the campaign trail in Kampung Datuk Harun. – Picture by Jack Ooi]
Anwar Ibrahim greets avid PKR supporters while on the campaign trail in Kampung Datuk Harun. – Picture by Jack Ooi
The former Umno minister who was sacked by his party for turning up at opposition functions maintained his election stand that he was fighting for fair treatment for all races, for fair distribution of wealth to be enjoyed by all.
He told them it was something Umno could never understand.
He scornfully noted that MIC and its president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu in particular were full of “false promises” but would never go against Umno, the senior party in the ruling coalition.
Zaid at the stump in Kampung Datuk Harun. – Picture by Jack Ooi
Looking at the ethnic Indian faces in the audience, he reminded them of the MIC’s fiasco with Maika Holdings, the party’s failed investment arm.
“I’m not afraid of Umno. That’s the difference,” Zaid proclaimed, to loud cheers from the floor.
Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who turned up at the tail-end of Zaid’s short speech picked up right where the latter left off and continued to bat for Pakatan Rakyat’s “justice for all” treatment.
Repeating his stock speeches from other stumps, Anwar told the semi-urban crowd that the opposition alliance was their only hope to effect real reforms in the country.
Piling them with a laundry list of what he regarded as problems ailing the nation — gambling, unequal distribution of wealth — he linked them to the BN-Umno leadership, specifically under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“Why do we need a change?” he asked.
“1 Malaysia…untuk orang kaya (for the rich),” he answered, to noisy applause.
“You want to ask Kamalanathan?” he quizzed rhetorically, referring to the BN’s champion in the Parliamentary by-election called following its PKR incumbent’s death last month.
“Dia kerja mesti sokong Umno,” Anwar quipped, to equally loud cheers from the floor.
He urged them to vote for Zaid, reminding them that “every vote counts.”
“We want to place Datuk Zaid in Parliament…to expose corruption,” Anwar proclaimed.
Zaid: I’m not afraid of Umno