Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim says the reaction to the PKR veteran’s remarks on Umno is disproportionate.
PETALING JAYA: Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim has defended PKR veteran Hassan Karim after Hassan was told to refrain from making comments that could hurt fellow component parties in the unity government.
Hassan, who is the Pasir Gudang MP, had remarked that Umno needed a new face to lead the party as it cannot afford to ride on Pakatan Harapan’s fragile coat-tails in the next general election (GE16).
“What’s wrong with giving friendly advice? Our leaders are so thin-skinned that the reaction to Hassan’s statement was disproportionate, like they wanted to take action against him.
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“Grow up, guys. Good MPs who have sound views, (there) are not many left.,” Zaid said in a post on X.
PKR information chief Fahmi Fadzil said yesterday Hassan was expressing his personal view and that his remarks did not represent the party’s position on the matter.
“He shouldn’t have made that statement. Don’t meddle in other parties’ business,” the communications minister was quoted as saying.
In response, Hassan said he was ready to face any disciplinary action, including being sacked, for his outspoken views on various issues.
Claiming that this was the first time he had received such a strong reprimand in his many years as a PKR member, Hassan said he was, however, not disheartened by it.
Zaid also said that former MPs like Khairy Jamaluddin, Tony Pua and Ong Kian Ming “have ideas”.
“We do not have to agree with everything they say, but that’s okay. Fortunately, we still have (Muar MP) Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Hassan, and a few from Perikatan Nasional who can contribute with good ideas.
“There is no need to take action against people with contrarian views,” he said.
Zaid also said the government’s intolerance of those exercising their right to express themselves was worrying.
He called out Fahmi for warning that action could be taken against those who questioned the Federal Territories Pardons Board’s decision on Najib Razak’s sentence reduction.
“Why, Fahmi? The Federal Court decision that we cannot challenge the Pardons Board decision merely means it is not justiciable.
“It does not mean we have to agree or are unable to comment,” he said.