PETALING JAYA: Kita president Zaid Ibrahim’s recent controversial and solitary decisions have earned him three options from a party leader – apologise, resign or prepare to be ousted.
Zahrein Zakariah, a member of Kita’s central executive committee, today issued a second call for Zaid’s resignation, saying the party no longer needed him. He suggested that he return to Umno.
“I will continue calling for his resignation,” Zahrein told FMT. “Nothing changes. I will rally the others to bring him down. And then we will introduce a new decision-making system which will be bottom-up.”
Asked if Kita could function without Zaid, he replied, “Yes it can. I repeat, Kita is not Zaid and Zaid is not Kita.”
Zaid began courting dissent when he sacked three party leaders. It sparked accusations of tyranny and persistent flouting of party protocol.
He exacerbated the uproar when he apologised to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for doubting his political will to make reforms. His most recent controversial move was to announce a Kita Democracy Roadshow to garner support for Najib’s reform pledges.
Zahrein said Zaid did not consult anyone in the party leadership on the roadshow, adding that members were angry, viewing the move as another one of his “apple polishing antics”.
He expressed incredulity at Zaid’s support of a prime minister and government that had “clearly lost the people’s confidence” and had “killed democracy”.
“Maybe Zaid Ibrahim believes in Najib, but Kita does not,” Zahrein said. “Barisan Nasional is failing big time and Kita wants nothing to do with it.”
He rattled off a list of “scandals” that he said had erupted since Najib came into power, including the Perak coup, the church burnings, the Teoh Beng Hock case and the accusations of corruption in the purchase of Scorpene submarines.
“Zaid can talk for himself,” he said. “He can polish all the apples he wants, but Kita will not follow.
“There is no Kita roadshow for Najib. Zaid can call it the Royal Malaysian Circus for all we care.
“Zaid is a one-man show and he is leading Kita in the wrong direction. Kita is a social justice movement aimed at setting things straight in Malaysia and it makes no sense for us to support Najib.”
Zahrein disagreed with party leaders who had said that Kita’s image remained intact despite Zaid.
He said it was “badly damaged” and that the only way to salvage it would be to boot out the “Umno people” within it.
“Otherwise we are no different from Umno and PKR in their authoritarian practice,” he said. “In my view, a party chief is merely a spokesperson for decisions that are made collectively.”
Zahrein nevertheless said that he would give Zaid a chance to redeem himself by proving that he was not behind the roadshow decision and then apologising to party members.
“Zaid has yet to issue a statement on this issue,” he noted. “If he says that this idea was that of his two liaison-directors-henchmen, Masrum Dayat and Aziz Kadir, and then sacks them and apologises to us, then we might give him some space.”
Asked if it was too much to expect an apology for Zaid, he shot back: “If he can apologise to Najib, then he can apologise to us.”