“The gambling guys are all in Umno. They go to casinos, you know?” said a smiling Zaid at a press conference at the PKR operations centre here this afternoon.
The former Umno man then urged the media to check the registers of casinos “all around the world” for names of these Umno politicians.
“Check with them.... you will not find my name there but you will find theirs,” he said.
Zaid, however, declined to reveal the names of these politicians but maintained that he is not a gambler.
However, he admitted to owning racehorses but insisted that this did not amount to gambling.
“Horse-racing is a sport. There is nothing wrong with it. I do not think these Umno guys understand... like my father before, he used to own birds,” he said.
He was responding to allegations in blogs that he was a gambler.
According to the blogs, Zaid’s horse Kelantan won in a race in 2006, and earned him a whopping US$450,000 (RM1.44 million).
Zaid later said he did own racehorses — three from New Zealand and one thoroughbred from Australia. “There is nothing wrong,” he insisted.
Zaid also said that he would not press charges against these bloggers for their baseless allegations or for putting up doctored pictures of him drinking alcohol.
“I can’t press charges on people who put up these blogs. What kind of charges anyway? If you keep suing all these people you will end up doing nothing else in your life,” he said, eliciting laughter from the reporters present.
Zaid also said that the withdrawal of the two independents in the by-election race would not make the battle any easier. “It will not be easier, it will make little difference. Obviously I am not just fighting the candidate here, I am contesting against all the Umno guys like (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) and (deputy prime minister Tan Sri) Muhyiddin (Yassin).
“All the banners across town bear the face of Najib,” he said.
Zaid however continued to appeal to the Hulu Selangor voters to choose him as their MP, and cited his close relationship with Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
“Furthermore, I have the experience and I have the vision. And my vision is the same as the state government’s,” he said.
Khalid, who also attended the press conference, had earlier pointed out that Zaid would help the state government in adding value to its development plans.
“He can be our bridge to the people of Hulu Selangor. And we have a very good relationship,” he said.
Khalid assured the press that as the mentri besar and elections director in Hulu Selangor, he gave his full support to Zaid.
“We fully support his fight and we will help him to win,” he said.
Khalid pointed out that in comparison with Barisan Nasional’s P. Kamalanathan, Zaid was more experienced by far.
“He used to be in government before, he used to be an MP before. Therefore, the Hulu Selangor voters should not take the risk.. they should vote for someone who already has this experience and who will be able to work for their needs,” he said.