When I had lunch with Zaid together with Commander Thaya in a quaint Kelantanese outlet, the Zaid Ibrahim that I have known has not changed and come through again despite having left PKR in a huff and setting up KITA. He would probably not stand as a candidate in GE13 unless (?). That, he said was not his priority at that point in time. But he has vowed to lend his support to the Pakatan cause. He is no firebrand speaker at ceremahs. His message is clear and measured. In his blog he wrote:
Stories of him having billions stashed away are lies. He has wealthy friends, of course, and they have kept his struggle going. I don’t believe money is terribly important to Anwar and his family, so I don’t think we will have pilferage on a huge scale when he becomes Prime Minister. So one up for him.
Malaysians also want to coexist in harmony. They are tired of UMNO’s divide-and-rule system. Anwar has travelled far and wide in his political campaigns and has seen for himself how groups outside the gated communities live. He relates well with the rural as well as the urban poor and emphatises with the grievances of the marginalised. His concern for the less fortunate is genuine. His strong sense of justice is perhaps due to his own experiences, but they are real and something we can trust him with. He has changed, but Dr M has not. Two up.
An important point to remember is that Anwar has a close relationship with PAS. I was initially sceptical that PAS could ever be a strong political force in a moderate Malaysia because for many years, they were hystericaly extreme in their views. Today Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is no longer the firebrand Islamic leader from Rusila of the 1980’s, but a moderate and practical politician. PAS has many young and moderate leaders, and they inject a strong ethical amd moral dimension to governance, at least more so than UMNO. I believe Anwar’s influence on PAS and political Islam as a whole is positive. Three up.
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