By Boo Su-Lyn
KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 — Only Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is a teetotaller among all Malaysian prime ministers, PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali said today when defending Hulu Selangor candidate Datuk Zaid Ibrahim's drinking past.
“All the prime ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Mahathir, Tun Razak, Hussein Onn, have been involved in alcohol. Not one of them has not drunk alcoholic drinks before,” said Mustafa.
He added to his knowledge, only Abdullah did not consume alcohol.
In their campaigns for the Hulu Selangor by-election, Umno has repeatedly battered Zaid over his admission to drinking, calling it “un-Islamic” and saying he should not be voted in as a leader of the majority-Malay constituency on the April 25 polling day.
However, PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang has defended Zaid, saying that he should be judged on his current leadership abilities instead of his past. He added that Zaid’s defection from Umno to Pakatan Rakyat (PR) was testament of his repentance.
When questioned on the veracity of his claims, Mustafa said that he had personally seen some Umno leaders drinking although he refused to name them.
“There is no Umno leader that is exempt from any of these four sins: corruption, gambling, alcohol and women,” Mustafa added.
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim had also claimed that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s son Mirzan has a stake in San Miguel Beer, a Philippine-based beer company.
Mustafa lashed out at Umno’s smear campaigns against Zaid in the Hulu Selangor by-election, calling it the “issue that is the most classless in the Hulu Selangor by-election”.
He added that such a campaign was unprofessional and unethical, considering that Umno’s own people were not exempt from such sins like drinking.
He added that although some Umno leaders may not have consumed alcohol, the fact that they provided alcohol licences was enough to make them sinners for life.
The PAS secretary-general pointed out that Zaid’s drinking habits were never mentioned when he was still in Umno.
“PAS has never campaigned on personal issues,” said Mustafa, in reference to Umno’s tactics of slandering Zaid over his personal habits. “It is unethical.”