Shah Alam will not accept Zul Noordin, says Khalid Samad
KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 – Datuk Zulkifli Noordin will not be accepted by the people of Shah Alam as he does not represent the values of the constituency, said incumbent MP Khalid Abdul Samad today.
His remarks came after the announcement by Barisan Nasional (BN) chief Datuk Seri Najib Razak today that Islamic hardliner Zulkifli will contest directly under the coalition ticket in the May 5 polls, a move apparently aimed at tapping the predominantly conservative Malay electorate.
“It’s up to BN leaders to choose their best candidate ... Unfortunately, they felt that Zulkifli is the best candidate. They have a unique perception of what the people of Shah Alam want,” Khalid told The Malaysian Insider through a phone call here.
According to Khalid, most of the people in Shah Alam are much more mature and moderate, and Zulkifli does not represent the values they hold.
Khalid (picture) also criticised BN for contesting an independent candidate instead of an Umno representative, which he said is an indication that BN has a lack of faith in Shah Alam Umno.
Umno candidate Datuk Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin lost to Khalid in 2008 with a 9,314 majority. In 2004, he had won against Khalid with a 13,410 majority.
Zulkifli’s inclusion into BN’s line-up came as no surprise since news that he had been campaigning in the urban seat surfaced months ago.
In the campaign, Zulkifli had accused PR of being anti-Islam for allowing non-Muslims to use the word “Allah” to describe their gods. Most Muslims in Malaysia believe the Arabic term for god belongs exclusively to them.
Since 2008, observers have been seeing a shift in sentiment among Shah Alam’s Malays who view PR with suspicion following several religious controversies, including Christians claiming the right to use “Allah” for their god, which many Malaysians believe to be the exclusive right of Muslims, according to analysts.
Zulkifli however has stirred up much anger among Malaysia’s religious and racial minority with his politically incorrect remarks that have also been recorded on video and gone viral.
The latest captured him uttering the word “Keling”, which Indian Malaysians find racially offensive, just days after another video clip of him delivering a religious lecture in which he questioned an Indian trader on why Hindu gods did not prevent the man’s shop from being flooded, drawing the wrath of Hindus.
The Perkasa vice-president also questioned the purity of the Ganges River, also known as Ganga in India, which is considered sacred by Hindus.
Shah Alam’s religious minority also took issue with right-wing Malay groups after the latter dragged a bloodied cow head to the state secretariat building in August 2008 to protest the state PR government’s decision to shift a Hindu temple into a Malay-majority residential neighbourhood.
Religion and race are inseparable subjects in Southeast Asia’s third-biggest economy, which prescribes that Malays must also be Muslim.
Shah Alam’s voter population is 70 per cent Malay.
Zulkifli became a BN-friendly independent MP critical of the opposition when he was dismissed from PKR on March 6, 2010 over a police report he lodged against Khalid.