Saturday, May 31, 2008

Zaid Ibrahim, The Back Door Minister

Zaid Ibrahim, The Back Door Minister
1 June, 2008

1. I refer to the outburst by Zaid Ibrahim, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department – (New Straits Times, 29.5.08) wherein he was quoted as saying ‘’You can say anything so long as you do not violate party principles. You are at liberty to talk rubbish, nonsense or real stuff, but you have to follow the rules’’ – in respect of a debate on the Royal Address between Mukhriz Mahathir and Zaid Ibrahim.

This outburst by Zaid Ibrahim is in response to accusations made by Mukhriz Mahathir that “after being appointed minister, he (Zaid) immediately set out to realise the opposition manifesto, not the BN manifesto”-(NST,28.5.08). Furthermore Mukhriz Mahathir had alleged ‘’that Zaid’s willingness to review laws like the Internal Security Act gave the impression that he was moving to realise the opposition’s manifesto’’- (NST 29.5.08). Zaid Ibrahim therefore asked the Barisan Nasional whip to take action against Mukhriz Mahathir –(NST, 29.5.08) for humiliating him, the government and the prime minister (NST,29.5.08).

2. Zaid Ibrahim is only an ordinary member of UMNO and in the last election was not even given any seat to contest. However after the elections due to reasons known only to him and Abdullah Badawi in the exercise of his prerogative powers immediately made Zaid Ibrahim a senator and made him a ‘’back door minister’’ in the prime minister’s department carrying out the functions of a de facto law minister (incidentally Zaid Ibrahim intends to clip this prerogative powers of Abdullah Badawi in his forthcoming reforms). Not being a parliamentarian, Zaid Ibrahim is not a member of the Dewan Rakyat and therefore does not represent the Rakyat of any constituency except the government and Abdullah Badawi.

3. However, Mukhriz Mahathir a member of UMNO holds the position of UMNO Youth Exco having been elected as a Member of Parliament and represents the Rakyat of Jerlun in the Dewan Rakyat and is therefore answerable to the Rakyat in that constituency but not to the government. As a member of parliament on an UMNO ticket he is expected to support the Barisan Nasional government in the Dewan Rakyat but as a representative and in the interest of the Rakyat in certain circumstances which he considers fit has the right to criticise or question Zaid Ibrahim or any member of the government or the opposition, whether in or outside parliament, on any statements made by Zaid Ibrahim or any member of the Barisan Nasional government or the opposition that does not seem to be appropriate or acts against the interest of the Rakyat.

4. Zaid Ibrahim’s outburst borders on arrogance with the lack of maturity and the attitude as a de facto law minister that he is always right and no one else and that he is over and above everyone else when he is carrying out his functions and who relies heavily on Abdullah Badawi to prop him up. Under what party principles or any other rules has Mukhriz Mahathir violated for Zaid Ibrahim to call upon the Barisan Nasional whip to take action against Mukhriz Mahathir other than his authority as a ‘’back door minister’’?

5. Mukhriz Mahathir is doing what the Rakyat expects of him as a Member of Parliament in the Dewan Rakyat.

Imran Imtiaz Shah Yacob

No comments: