Zaid: I’m no frog: From Umno to PKR to KITA to DAP; now back to Umno?

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who recently returned to Umno’s fold after moving from one party to another in the past 13 years, wants it to be open in discussing sensitive issues.

“We cannot be so dogmatic. We cannot say that we should not talk about certain issues. We should talk about everything and that is my philosophy.

“The problem with this country is that it has become so dogmatic and it applies not only to Umno, but all parties,” he said yesterday.

On Friday, the former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department rejoined Umno after submitting his membership application at a party briefing at World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur on Aug 27.

Zaid said his latest move to rejoin Umno was to continue contributing his ideas for politics.

“I did not have a platform and Umno welcomes me back. So I took the offer.”

Zaid said at present, not only Umno but all political parties in the country were not offering any real solutions in nation-building.

“They talk a lot in attacking each other and not much on what we need to do to build this country, and how to implement policies in a more meaningful way.

“I thought I can be of help to bring about this mindset change through talks and dialogues across parties, and make politics more meaningful to the people.

“The people are tired of all the bickering (among the political parties). The process of consensus-building of the country must be rebuilt, something like that,” he said.

When asked if he would contest the next general election, he said: “It is not easy to answer that question. However, I am ready if offered a seat to contest.

“But I have to look at several matters too, whether I can win if I were to contest and if I have the resources and my health, among others. Nonetheless, I am a good competitor.”

On being labelled as a political frog, Zaid said he did not jump to other parties to jostle for positions.

“I am not a frog. I never jumped (to another party) for a position. I did give up my position, but I never jumped for a position.

“I am different. I look for different platforms to see what is workable.

“(And) I realise now that it has to be a Malay-based party that is moderate enough, feasible enough to build that consensus.

“To those who dislike Umno, or hate the party for some reason, I am asking them a simple question — what is the alternative?

“I do not see any viable party. So if you want to make progress, you have to sit down with Umno.”

Zaid first joined Umno in 2000. He contested the 2004 General Election and won the Kota Baru parliamentary seat on the party’s ticket.

He, however, was dropped as a candidate in the 2008 General Election, before being expelled from the party on Dec 2 the same year.

In 2009, Zaid joined PKR but resigned from the party a year later. He then formed Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (Kita) in 2010, but resigned as its chief in 2012. In 2017, he joined DAP and eventually left the party in 2020.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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