Lim Kit Siang said "Let us have higher standards in politics and elections, as it is the avenue to serve to people and nation and not to indulge in personal attacks and character-assassinations."
He further reiterated "We can do the same but we refuse to do so. Zaid has regretted his drinks in his youth. But he has gone one step further to declare that he will not follow the gutter politics of the Umno leaders."
I am pretty sure there are some Muslims in UMNO who are boozers,if not publicly, at least discreetly, in the closet.However, they are not the one standing for election, therefore,for now, they are out of the limelight.
The rabble-rouser Lim Kit Siang asking those in UMNO to stand up to identify themselves as drunkards is nothing but a cheap shot and sign of desperation.
Zaid Ibrahim, like it or not, has, by his candidacy opened himself to public scrutiny of his character.Anyone running for public office would have to bear the embarrassement of being exposed for their ethical,religious or moral transgressions. Zaid has admitted to his sins.
If he can prove that the smear campaign is untrue and done out of malice, than he has the right to take legal action against those who slander him.
That may be water under the bridge now because he has admitted to consuming alcohol and the love for race horses.
I am not sure whether Islam is against keeping race horses.There are horse racings in some of the Middle Eastern countries.The Dubai World Cup is 11 of the world's thoroughbreds racing and is now worth US$10 million.Maybe, Zaid should send his horse to Dubai.
Politics, the world over, more so in a democracy, is a dirty game.Those who stands for public office should make sure they have a clean slate or be prepared to be ridiculed and shamed if their dirty linens are washed in public by their enemies.
Personal attacks and character assassination is not something unfamiliar to politics, it happened everywhere, even in the most advanced democracies.
Obama, was branded a closet Muslim by his rivals during the campaign for the US presidency.The American voters didn't buy it.The beer-bashing of Zaid may end up the same way.The folks in Hulu Selangor might not care about his boozy past and his love for race horses.
If you have skeletons in the closet and someone caught you with your pants down than it's just too bad, it becomes fodder for the cannon.
I personally think Zaid drinking habit should not make him a lesser person and should not be an issue.
However, what I think is not important or crucial to Zaid winning the by-election.It is how the majority of Malays in Hulu Selangor view his indulgence with alcohol and race horses that would decide his fate.
In the West, casual and social drinking are acceptable but alcoholism are frown upon by society.In the Muslim worlds alcohol is completely tabooed and punishable under Sharia.
Zaid could just be a social drinker, but than Islam does not differentiate between social drinkers and alcoholics, it carries the same sin and punishment.
In the West, alcoholics and drug-abusers are considered as patients that need help.In Islam they are considered as sinners and criminals that must be punished.There is a distinct difference between Muslim and non-Muslim view of alcohol.
That's besides the point.The point I am trying to make here is why do people like Lim Kit Siang and Raja Petra, who can attack others in wild abandon, suddenly become averse to personal attacks, an art they have perfected and are very skillful at. Najib has been in worse scatching attacks by Pakatan leaders and pro-Pakatan bloggers than people like Zaid Ibrahim and Anwar Ibrahim.When others played the same game they blow a fuse and decried of being hit below the belt.
The privilege to smear or sling mud at others is not theirs alone, others can do the same.There is 'quid pro quo' for everything.Pakatan leaders seemed to think they are holier than thou and only they have the privilege to attack others and not the other way around.
Raja Petra in his blog here in critical response to my article 'Anwar's Can Of Worms' thinks loyalty to a leader is not important.He prefered loyalty to a cause.How can you be loyal to a cause if you have no loyalty to a leader that believe in the cause.Just like captain of a ship, whether they like it or not, the crew must obey his orders, no matter how wrong he is, such orders must be executed.Without a leader there would be chaos and anarchy.
Even in organised chaos you need some kind of a leader let alone a revolutionary political cause that have been organised to topple a regime.
That's why you need a captain to helm a ship, a general to plan and lead in a war, a prime minister or president to lead a country, a CEO to head a company and umpteen more.
In everything we do there must be a leader to lead a group with common interest and objective. Without dedication and loyalty of the followers no leader or cause can be successful.
Anwar Ibrahim like Najib Tun Razak is a politician and public figure.Likewise, he has no immunity against public criticism.Anyone, can criticise him so long as such criticisms are based on facts and the truths.
Anwar, without loyalty from his people would become a "rebel without a cause".