[updated, 16/9 after midnight: PM tells Zahid to go on 2-week leave, h e r e]
Hero? Zaid Ibrahim sent in his quit letter to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi a while ago, making good his threat to resign if his position in the Cabinet has become no longer tenable following his remarks on the Internal Security Act.
Undoubtedly, the de factor Law Minister will be hailed as an anti-ISA icon, simply because he is from Umno/BN. But Zaid is not alone nor the firsat in the Government to speak out against the detention of RPK, Theresa Kok and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng under the ISA.
Read BN members last out at ISA, but do take note that another MCA vice president, Chua Soi Lek, had made his stand even earlier; in fact, the former Cabinet minister was calling on his party leaders to speak to the PM about the arrests (read here). Samy Vellu, too, for that matter! From Umno, Information Minister Shabery Cheek has also asked the police to explain the arrest of the journalist (but not RPK and DAP's Theresa).
Again, as far as the MCA is concerned, it would seem to me that Ka Ting and Teek Keat were taking the cue from Wong Chun Wai, the Star's top editor, who wrote in his blog here on Sept 12, that the use of the ISA cannot be justified: "This is not just a draconian law but an archaic one. These are reporters and writers, not terrorists or communists. Those that deserve to be punished are racist politicians not scribes. It is unacceptable in a democracy, if we still claim we are one."
Within Umno, Zaid's resignation will be interpreted differently, I suppose, especially with the divisional elections coming after Hari Raya and Zaid's promise to reform the judiciary within six months of being made Senator and de facto Law Minister iby Abdullah after the March general election. For a right-wing Umno perspective, perspective, click h e r e.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Zaid Ibrahim quits
At 2:56 pm