PETALING JAYA – Datuk Zaid Ibrahim is convinced that the arrogance of “Chinese party” DAP leaders will never secure them “deep Malay support”.
The former law minister said that he always believed that civility and respect was lacking in the Malay-Chinese political relationship.
“I am now equally convinced that the arrogance of the DAP leadership will never secure them deep Malay support,” he said in a statement published on his blog on Friday (April 20).
Zaid was commenting on the reaction to his “Chinese party” tweet on Tuesday (April 17) and the attitude of the DAP leadership when he inquired if there was a seat for him to contest in GE14.
He added that his tweet on Tuesday labeling DAP as a “Chinese party”, was actually a “harmless comment” and not meant to be racist.
His tweet had labeled his own political home as a “Chinese party” who had made known their Ministerial candidates early, and the subdued response from “Malay parties” in Pakatan Harapan.
“That’s how Malays behave generally, shy and reticent to make their views known. Nothing has changed,” Zaid tweeted on Tuesday.
The former law minister said that he received “a lot of brickbats” for making the observation about the difference in behavioral attitude between Malays and Chinese.
Zaid said that he received a message from someone asking him, “Why are you being a racist when you were never one before?”
He also said that one of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s former secretaries, who is “well-known”, had even accused him of being an opportunist, saying that he joined DAP to secure a comfortable seat and retaliated when one was not made available to him.
“Both of them totally missed the point,” said Zaid.
“Firstly, calling DAP a Chinese party is not the same as saying DAP is a racist party.
“Sometimes, when we describe Gerakan as a Chinese party or UMNO as a Malay party, we are making a largely accurate description of both.
“It’s true that Gerakan has some non-Chinese members and UMNO has some Kadazans, but ethnically they are largely monolithic in character,” he said.
Zaid questioned why him calling DAP a Chinese party was offensive.
He also insisted that he is not angry at DAP for not fielding him as a candidate for GE14.
“Disappointed yes, but not to the extent of wanting to retaliate in the way some people thought I was doing with my tweet,” said Zaid.
Zaid said that he was offered the Gelang Patah seat 12 months ago and was “quite excited” at the prospect of being fielded there because it was an urban seat and the kind of constituency that he felt was suited to him.
“But after three months, I was told that the offer was conditional on something else. It was then later withdrawn,” he said.
“Then a second-liner in the DAP leadership told me that I could go to Bentong if I was interested. I said it was not a constituency that was suitable for me,” said Zaid.
Zaid said that he is not a “giant killer” and has limited resources after being unemployed for the past eight years.
“There was total silence on the subject of the election and seat allocation in the last six months. In fact, I was not very involved in the party’s activities,” he said.
“When I sent a text message on March 27 to the party’s key men to ask if there would be any seat for me to contest, I was not even granted the courtesy of a reply.
“So it’s not the issue of not having a seat that bothered me, but the attitude that was shown,” said Zaid.
Zaid hopes that DAP leaders do not try to prolong the matter of him refusing a seat, and said that he will no longer speak on the issue of his non-candidacy.
“What we need now is solidarity to ensure victory for the Opposition in the coming election, which I am totally dedicated to,” he said. – The Star Online