MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Najib the best man to unite Malaysia, says Zaid Ibrahim

Syed Jaymal Zahiid, MM
Despite persistent criticism at his purported lack of political willpower, Datuk Seri Najib Razak remains the best bet to unite a racially polarised Malaysia, former law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said today.
The prime minister had been severely criticised for his controversial statement blaming the Chinese community for the ruling coalition’s dismal electoral showing but according to Zaid (picture), Najib has not shown any bias towards any particular race amid escalating tension between Malaysia’s two biggest ethnicity.

The former Umno man, who defected to opposition party PKR and left after a fallout with its leadership, also noted that Najib had displayed a balanced performance and moderate politics, citing as example his “tempered” handling of ultra-Malay groups like Perkasa despite leading Umno, a party with a conservative Malay powerbase.

“PM moderate in his conduct and remarks, and even his dealing with Perkasa tempered. You must remember he is in Umno so he has to please other factions too,” Zaid said in a brief interview with The Malay Mail Online.

“The subject of racial polarisation is quite a serious subject, a challenge we have to take. I still think he is the best person to deal with this subject.

“Judging from how he handled issues in the past, his temperament, he is more suited,” he added.

Earlier today the former Umno law minister made his view on the subject public, posting on Twitter about how he felt Najib was still the most suited person to help bring the country together.

Zaid’s posting followed Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s statement that Malaysia is becoming increasingly polarised and accused Chinese educationists Dong Zong of racialising Putrajaya’s Education Development Master Plan (PIPP) 2013-2025.

Zaid immediately criticised Muhyiddin for the statement, suggesting that the deputy prime minister was not helping defuse the existing racial tension by accusing the non-Malays of racism.

“@zaidibrahim: The Deputy Prime Minister is concerned about racial polarization. Yet he seems to blame non Malays/non Muslims for this,” he said on his Twitter posting today.

The former law minister then said an open debate on the issue would help address the debacle. Since a debate is unlikely to happen, Najib is and must be the person to initiate reconciliation.

“@zaidibrahim: Prime Minister, present and future, must deal with causes of polarization. Not taking side. If only we can have open debate on this

“@zaidibrahim: in the absence of open debate my gut feel is that the present PM is more suited to fight racial polarization,” he said.

Racial polarisation in Malaysia has worsened in recent years and analysts have linked this to the ruling coalition’s struggle to avert a stronger opposition by exploiting racial issues.

Tension heightened after Najib’s Barisan Nasional (BN) failed to win a parliamentary supermajority and lost the popular votes in Election 2013 as Umno’s far right blamed the coalition’s record losses on the Chinese.

Najib had recently said he would embark on a national reconciliation programme but the idea has been met with much scepticism in light of the continued attacks on the Chinese community.

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