I view with incredulity Zaid Ibrahim’s latest unkind salvo against Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), which I sometimes think he forgets is the party he currently belongs to and is in running for Deputy President. It is very irresponsible and even malicious for him to suggest that PKR seems to be a one issue party – keen only to champion Anwar Ibrahim and his ongoing trial.
This myth he knows is not true and is something that we normally only hear from UMNO-BN politicians. Over the last decade or so, PKR has grown tremendously and has played a major part in forging the Pakatan Rakyat alliance while espousing its true multi-racial brand of progressive politics, leading to the Pakatan Rakyat’s Common Policy Platform which we believe will pose a strong challenge to the BN in the next general election.
I am further shocked that Zaid has suggested that by defending Anwar, the party is unable to defend the rakyat. Again, very UMNO-BN-like criticism as he knows very well that the party has a good track record in defending the rakyat on various issues concerning civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
I am sure Zaid is well aware that securing justice for Anwar does not merely mean providing the best legal defence but involves a campaign outside court to expose the Government’s manipulation of key institutions to persecute political opponents. Again, this statement that Anwar has received the best legal defence and therefore there is nothing else to do – certainly seemed very UMNO-BN-like, and certainly appalling coming from a PKR leader.
The implication of Anwar’s trial if he does not know is that Anwar’s current and previous trials represent all that is wrong with UMNO-BN’s brand of sham democracy – one that enables the government of the day to make use of all the state machinery including the judiciary, police, AG’s Chambers and even hospitals to manufacture false evidence and implicate political opponents.
In case Zaid has forgotten, Anwar has spent six years’ imprisonment on trumped up charges, and is once again facing the same fate. Surely it would be extremely unkind and ungrateful of PKR to suddenly abandon Anwar just when the party is becoming a major political force in the country.
I am certainly at a loss to understand Zaid’s campaign strategy as he seems bent on publicly and continuously criticising the party and its leadership (which I must remind he is also part of) instead of strengthening the party, and championing the party’s policies, processes and issues including that of UMNO-BN’s persecution of Anwar.