KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 — The Royal Selangor Club has allegedly barred Datuk Zaid Ibrahim from holding a press conference there to announce his intention to join the DAP.
The former federal minister said he was told "personally" by the club's management that the instruction to cancel the media event, which was scheduled tomorrow morning, came from "above".
"Putrajaya or the police, I can't remember which one, but they told me it’s [an] order from above," Zaid told Malay Mail Online.
It is understood that the press conference is meant to announce his DAP membership.
Zaid would not comment on the matter, but said he would explain it at a press conference at his residence in Petaling Jaya tomorrow at 9.30am.
"I'm disappointed of course. It shows they are afraid that I could change what the Malays think about the DAP.
"But the press conference will take place nevertheless. Same time at my house tomorrow," he said.
The Opposition leadership, including DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, are expected to attend the event.
Last week, several reports citing anonymous DAP sources have claimed that Zaid will join the Opposition party in a joint press conference tomorrow.
The Star Online was among those who quoted unnamed DAP sources confirming the matter, while Malaysiakini’s party sources said DAP has already accepted Zaid as a member.
Under Umno, Zaid was the law minister during the administration of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2008, but he resigned from the post the same year as a protest against a spate of arrests under the Internal Security Act 1960, resulting in suspension from the ruling party.
The year after, Zaid joined PKR, and then contested the Hulu Selangor by-election in 2010. He lost to Barisan Nasional’s Datuk P. Kamalanathan, now deputy education minister.
He quit PKR later that year after pulling out of a race for the party’s deputy president post and formed Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (Kita).
Zaid stepped down as Kita president in 2012 amid internal squabbles.
In February 2014, he offered to contest the Kajang by-election as an independent before withdrawing his candidacy less than a month later.