KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has accepted Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) invitation to act as an advisor in the hotly anticipated political showdown in Johor, Lim Kit Siang said today.
His announcement comes after the former minister supported his candidacy in the Gelang Patah federal seat at a ceramah in Taman Nusantara last night.
“I have invited Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, the only minister in the nation’s 56-year history to resign from the Cabinet on a matter of principle ... to help in the Battle of Gelang Patah, the Battle of Johor and Battle of Malaysia as an adviser, and Zaid has graciously agreed,” Lim said in a statement today.
“I will discuss with Zaid the next strategy of the Battle of Johor to target 19 Parliamentary and 30 State Assembly seats in Johor in the May 5 general elections,” he added.
Lim also said that Gelang Patah was crucial because it was not a personal battle, but a microcosm of the political battle gearing up in Johor and also in Malaysia for the May 5 general election.
“It is a symbol of a new Malaysia struggling to be born, a choice between the politics of the future as represented by DAP/Pakatan Rakyat and the politics of the past practised by Umno/BN for more than five decades,” he said.
“I could very well lose but I am prepared to take the risk.” Lim, who is leading the DAP’s charge in Johor, is banking on launching a political tsunami from the south, targeting at least one-third of the 83 parliamentary seats for PR in Barisan Nasional’s (BN) fortresses in Johor, Sabah and Sarawak.
He moved from the Ipoh Timor seat in Perak for Gelang Patah, in a strategic move by PR to attack the BN bastion state of Johor.
He will face BN’s Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, the four-term Johor mentri besar, in a straight fight for the Gelang Patah seat.
Earlier this year, Zaid had reportedly announced that he was quitting politics and that he had no interest in running in the upcoming general elections.
However, before nominations day on April 20, he had reportedly said that he may contest the Kota Baru parliamentary seat, for which he was MP from 2004 to 2008, if given the chance by PAS.
Zaid was an Umno member before he was sacked from the party in 2008.
In 2009 he joined PKR but left in 2010 to form a new party, KITA, before quitting it last year.