UPDATE,16 September 2008:
I salute Zaid Ibrahim for taking the most honourable step to resign.
At last YB Zaid Ibrahim has decided to join the rank and file of brave people by resigning from Badwai’s cabinet. It has been quite sometime that Zaid Ibrahim’s position was untenable in the Cabinet because he was unable to deliver or implement judicial reforms as announced in the press.
Today, Zaid Ibrahim took the most unprecedented step in Malaysia’s political history by resigning based on disagreement with the Prime Minister and his Cabinet for using ISA against Malaysians. Zaid Ibrahim took the honourable step to resign based on principles. I salute Zaid Ibrahim for standing up for the people of Malaysia to oppose the outdated and oppressive Internal Security Act (ISA), which has been abused by the BN Government to suppress its critics/opposition.
All peace loving Malaysians must join together to peacefully oppose the BN Government for abusing the ISA for their own political objectives.
Let’s us all attend the MALAYSIA DAY Celebration organised by Pakatan Rakyat at 7:00 pm at Stadium MBPJ Kelana Jaya. The speakers are: YB Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Tuan Guru YB Dato” Seri Haji Hadi Awang. The
police has issued a permit for this celebration.
I sincerely salute Zaid Ibrahim for his stand on the recent ISA arrests as the de facto Law Minister and quits office because he had said “If my position is untenable, I will leave.”
Malaysiakini’s full report as follow …
Law Minister Zaid ‘tenders resignation‘ Fauwaz Abdul Aziz | Sep 15, 08 2:17pm De facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim has tendered his resignation over the government’s use of the Internal Security Act, which allows detention without trial, against three individuals last week.
According to a reliable source, Zaid’s resignation letter was delivered to the Prime Minister’s Office at around 2pm today.
However, Zaid could not be reached for comments, He is expected to call a press conference later today.
The minister has expressed his disagreement to last Friday’s ISA dragnet where DAP parliamentarian and Selangor senior exco Teresa Kok, controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng were nabbed for allegedly being a threat to national security.
Zaid had earlier said that he would try to meet Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi some time this week to discuss the matter.
Malaysiakini was informed, however, that Zaid did not meet with his boss before the letter was submitted to PM’s office in Putrajaya this afternoon.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Zaid told Malaysiakini: “We have a government that commits to laws and reforms, we can’t be using old-style politics or resort to creating fear. We have laws and they (the detainees) should be charged in court.”
“If my position is untenable, I will leave,” he said.
Zaid argued that the ISA should only be used to curb terrorism, which was the reason why it was first enacted in 1960.
“The problem with the ISA now is that it is used against certain people, it is a very unjust law,” he added.
Zaid said he felt “very sad that people like Teresa, whom I know personally, can be seen as a threat.
“I can’t see how a journalist doing her duty, or even Raja Petra, can be seen as a national threat. If their statements upset certain people, let the police investigate,” he said.
He added that he was against the government to use such a “strong-arm tactic” against any individuals.
Little support from cabinet colleagues
Zaid, who is the former Kota Baru MP, was made a senator and named as minister in charge of legal affairs during the cabinet reshuffle by premier Abdullah in March.
His appointment was lauded by many quarters as it was seen as a gesture by the prime minister to put in place judicial reforms.
Zaid lamented, however, that the latest ISA arrests dealt a blow to his six-month-long task of trying to regenerate the judiciary.
The minister also conceded that his views on certain matters do not go down well with his cabinet colleagues.
“I don’t want to make it difficult for him (Abdullah). If my views are inconsistent or unsuitable (to that of the cabinet’s), I can leave the government.
“It (the crackdown) is a setback (on my work). The government wanted to change certain things, otherwise they don’t need me (to be in the cabinet),” he said.
A lawyer by training, Zaid was chairperson and senior partner in Zaid Ibrahim and Co – the largest law firms in the country – before he was appointed senator.
Upon his appointment as minister, Zaid had resigned from his position in the law firm and was replaced by Dr Nik Norzrul Thani.
It is not known whether Zaid, who established the company in 1987, will return to full-time practice.