HULU SELANGOR, April 15 — PKR candidate Datuk Zaid Ibrahim was prepared to disclose his wealth after insinuations of corruption by the deputy prime minister, and challenged Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and other members of the Najib administration to do the same.
The former de facto law minister also disclosed that certain ministers had opposed the asset declaration proposal he mooted during the Abdullah administration.
Zaid made the comments while addressing a ceramah here and also in a post at his weblog, after Muhyiddin said he was chosen as the PKR candidate for the Hulu Selangor by-election because of his “deep pockets” and not for his ability to serve.
Speaking to a 300-strong crowd at a multi-purpose hall in Kampung Sungai Buaya, the former Umno member lashed out at his former party colleague for alluding that he was corrupt.
“The issue is not about being rich or poor but whether there was abuse of power.”
Zaid pointed out he was only the de-facto law minister for six months, and during that time he was never in charge of Petronas, land, water or any resources.
“I was in charge of law and the judiciary. Where is there money?” he asked the crowd.
To the amusement of the crowd, Zaid pointed out that he had only one wife, three children and lived moderately.
But he added many accusations about his wealth have been levelled against him, including claims he had homes in Dubai, London and Australia.“I wish it were true, but I only have a house in Kota Bharu, which I bought 15 years ago, and a house in Petaling Jaya.”
He appealed to the crowd of mostly Felda settlers to give him a chance to serve for at least a term, adding he was a full time politician.
“I have no other work,” he quipped.
Muhyiddin had also hinted yesterday that Zaid, who was described as a highly-principled man by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, had a “record” but did not elaborate.
Muhyiddin said if voters wanted to know about Zaid, they could go to Kota Bharu, where he was MP for a term, to see for themselves.
However, Zaid defended his track record and said voters should indeed ask the people in Kota Bharu about his performance while he was MP.
“If he hasn’t got anything useful to add, I suggest to the DPM that we move on and address the issues I have raised for the people in Hulu Selangor. And the issues facing the country. Let’s have a fair fight and see who has the support of the people!” he added in his blog.
Also at the ceramah last night was Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who appealed to the settlers to defend their own rights by voting for Zaid.
He highlighted the litany of problems faced by Felda settlers not only in Sungai Buaya but across the country, and concluded by saying that Umno should not treat them like dirt.