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Umno issues Zaid show cause letter

KUALA LUMPUR, 10 Nov 2008: Former de facto law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has been issued a show cause letter by Umno for writing an open letter to the prime minister and for meeting with Members of Parliament (MPs) to repeal the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Zaid, who wrote his open letter on 29 Sept, said he received the show cause letter about two weeks ago.

“Apparently they found the letter (on the ISA) offensive and believe I had violated some rules in the party.

“They were also not happy that I attended the meeting in Parliament with the MPs as I was a senator then,” he told a press conference in his office here today.

The Pakatan Rakyat formed a parliamentary caucus and held a meeting on 17 Sept to call for the release of DAP MP Teresa Kok, who was detained under the ISA on 12 Sept.

After her release on 19 Sept, the opposition coalition changed the caucus to repeal the ISA.

Zaid explained at the press conference that he had attended the meeting to support the issue; not to support the DAP, PKR or PAS.

He said he would leave it to his lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar to reply to the show cause letter.

Zaid also said that based on the party’s reactions in news reports, he expects Umno to take some action against him for his criticism against the ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) concept.

He had come under fire by several Umno leaders, including Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, for saying the ketuanan Melayu concept had failed and distracted the country from addressing real issues.

However, Zaid said the attacks will not deter him from speaking up. “There will be many more speeches to come, so my future looks bleak,” he said.

On whether he would leave the party, Zaid said it is “no big deal” whether he chooses to stay or go, as he would continue to speak up even if he keeps receiving show cause letters.

When contacted, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor confirmed that Zaid had been given a show case letter on the two issues.

However, he said the party had not asked for explanation on Zaid’s criticism against ketuanan Melayu.

“He’s with Umno, how can he support the opposition’s stand?” Tengku Adnan told The Nut Graph, referring to the caucus on the ISA.

“He has been given until 15 Nov to reply,” he added.

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