Without a doubt, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim is a flawed individual. But listening to the politicians aiming their barbs at the PKR candidate for Hulu Selangor, you would think that they are pristine, possibly whiter than white.
Yet, many who attack him are also guilty of corruption and amassing wealth illegally. That’s why they shot down the idea of declaring their assets during the Abdullah administration and why none of them have taken up Zaid’s challenge to put their wealth under public scrutiny.
One just has to look at the number of luxury vehicles, such as Porsche Cayennes and Lexuses, which ambled as part of the Barisan Nasional (BN) campaign in Hulu Selangor to wonder how they made money when Malaysia got itself mired in the last recession.
That is just a small part of it.
Some of the ruling party politicians do consume alcohol outside the country; frequent casinos and have expensive homes outside Malaysia.
Many of them continue to milk Chinese businessmen for political funding. Yet they stand before thousands and accuse others of consuming alcohol.
That’s rich coming from them.
Fact is very few of them, if any of them, can claim the high moral ground. None can bear the public scrutiny if push comes to shove on consuming alcohol.
Zaid took the step to admit he did that and moved on because it shouldn’t be an election issue in Hulu Selangor.
If those who drink alcohol shouldn’t run for public office, BN will be hardpressed to replace some in its front bench. After all, some such as Tunku Abdul Rahman admitted to such transgressions but led Umno and the BN predecessor Alliance to victory without drink affecting his work.
It is worthy to note that Tunku went on to found Perkim and serve the Muslim world after his retirement. Not for him the hypocrisy that afflicts the successor party to the original Umno.
What has happened over the weekend against Zaid is a cheap shot. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones or point fingers.
Unfortunately, a clean electoral fight on issues of the day is impossible in Hulu Selangor or any other by-elections by those drunk with power and hell-bent on perpetuating the old politics of hypocrisy and their hold on power.
The 64,500 voters will have to decide whether to keep hypocrisy a part of Malaysian politics. Or throw it out and demand a real debate and solution to the issues that affect them.