Monday, September 15, 2008

Zaid Quits - NST

Sept 15, 2008

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has tendered his resignation from the Cabinet.

His letter was sent to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi earlier today. He arrived at the the prime minister’s Seri Perdana residence at about 2.30pm.

There is no indication from the Prime Minister's office as yet whether Zaid's resignation will be accepted.

The New Straits Times learnt that the former Kota Baru MP had decided to quit over the use of the Internal Security Act.

Zaid's resignation comes in the wake of his criticisms against the arrest of blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok and Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng on Friday.
At a Press conference in Kota Baru on Sunday, Zaid said the ISA should only be used against those who truly posed a threat to national security, such as terrorists.

He said he was "ready to resign" if Abdullah felt that he would be a problem to Umno and the government due to his views, which he acknowledged differed with the majority in the Cabinet.
Zaid was appointed minister in charge of law after the general election in March.

He did not stand for election as an MP, but was later appointed as a Senator in the Dewan Negara.

His appointment was lauded by the legal fraternity as being a positive move for Abdullah's administration.

As an outspoken MP and established lawyer, Zaid was seen as having the right credentials to bring about change to the legal system and to improve the image of the judiciary in particular.

In an interview soon after his appointment, he made it clear that he was "here to do the job, not to be popular with anyone."

A major development after Zaid took office was the issue of ex-gratia payments to the seven Supreme court judges affected in the 1988 judicial crisis.

Zaid also announced that a Judicial Appointments Commission would be appointed to nominate, appoint and promote judges, a body which the Malaysian Bar advocated for more than two decades.

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