What goes in the mind of Zaid Ibrahim?
It must a lonely year for this man, and now his alma mater comes out and has a go at him.
The quivering question is, “how can you Zaid a man from UiTM say that the Malay supremacy model is obsolete?”
Yes indeed, how do you?
And within the question is the answer.
Zaid Ibrahim is the rich lawyer with the big firm. There is little doubt that – irrespective how good a lawyer he may be – the rigour of the state to give the majority of government, GLC and government involved projects had a great role in helping Zaid Ibrahim and co. (so Zico for short) become the country’s biggest law firm, ahead of the Shearn Delamores and Skrines of Malaysia – which been around since British rule.
The political stint
In fact bringing Zaid Ibrahim into politics was natural, since Umno has a practise of trying to get successful professionals into its fold, and Zaid fit the bill perfectly. It would be in his interest to protect the old system.
However in his first term as Kota Bahru MP, the man they felt would be the natural and outspoken defender of the party, kept taking liberal lines.
He was for all kinds of dialogues and never stopped from engaging with people who wanted to engage with him. A sure sign to know if you are a failure as an Umno man is if civil society – no, not the ones being paid and serenading as NGOs – like you.
The man went as far as speaking at Article 11 gatherings.
So by the time the names for the 2008 Umno candidates for the general election was being drafted, the first time MP from Kelantan was dropped like an ugly moniker.
The reversals in the election, let the PM to needing to shore up his reform credentials to keep his political survival, so he reluctantly or not called Zaid back into government as a minister- via the senatorship route.
Being law minister to Zaid meant actually reforming the legal system, which must have shocked the Umno supreme council.
While the public engagements and willingness to speak without worrying about party lines led him to being the renegade.
It was not surprising that he had to leave the cabinet, what is surprising was the speed of it.
The moral choice?
The present choices of Zaid in being bolder and bolder, on the face of it looks like Zaid is trying to honestly do the right thing.
And this last analysis of the state of race relations in Malaysia and why there needs to be better adjudication of the system will not endeavour to the Umno leadership – no matter how much time passes.
Has a conscience got the better of Zaid? This is about the only way to explain the development.
Tolstoy’s characters always went through different stages of metamorphosis, with good being a more eternal quality even if you are unsure of it in the characters sometimes.
Perhaps the years in Umno and the wealth he amassed are no competition to the personal demons he deals with daily, on asking himself what is right.
In Malaysia, with so many things wrong, it won’t be too difficult to notice what should be right.
I think there are people about who think when you fight for equality, you are fighting to get more than the other guy. It’s not.
It is about letting everyone have a far chance, and that is the opposite of racism – which is what Umno stands and lives for.
I suppose if Umno remains this way, and Zaid keeps questioning himself, the two will naturally separate soon enough.