KUALA LUMPUR, 31 Oct 2008: Former de facto law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has resigned his position as senator.
Zaid, in announcing this at the start of his speech today at the Lawasia 2008 Conference here, said he had been asked to resign by the government.
“I was asked to resign as senator after I stepped down as minister. So I thought it was only appropriate for me to quit as senator as well,” he said.
When contacted later, Zaid, a lawyer by training, said he submitted his letter of resignation two weeks ago.
He had previously stated his intention to continue as a senator and keep pushing for law reforms. In a Bernama report on 17 Sept, Zaid said he would apply the necessary expertise and experience he had gained in the legal arena to carry out changes to the country’s judiciary.
Zaid, a former member of parliament (MP) for Kota Baru, did not contest in the 8 March 2008 general election.
But he was appointed a senator by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on 18 March and made minister in the prime minister’s department, in charge of legal affairs and the judiciary.
During his tenure, he tried to spearhead judicial reform, but found little support among his colleagues in the cabinet.
He resigned as minister on 15 Sept over the use of the Internal Security Act (ISA) to detain blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok and Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng on 12 Sept.
Kok and Tan were later released.