Yet, while his sporadic appearance in the media continued (latest being his broadside against Utusan Malaysia's racism) and he remained one of the best Prime Ministers Malaysia does not have (yet), he was on the sidelines nevertheless. Sideline political players this side of the world are hardly relevant unless you are a Tun Mahathir or a Lee Kuan Yew.
Now that he has joined PKR/PR he appears to have taken sides with the Opposition and Rocky Bru's take is that this maverick in UMNO is a maverick no more. I disagree. This maverick will be the much needed fresh air to a party where many in the higher echelons are stale/jaded mavericks (NGOnites) or pseudo-mavericks (UMNO/MCA/MIC wolves in PKR sheepskin). By joining opposition PKR (PR) Zaid has gained relevance...an 85:137 Opposition is relevant any which way one wants to look!
I have blogged about Zaid numerous times here and the first time I met him in person was in August 25th, 2007 at a Bangsa Malaysia Merdeka Get-together at Bloghouse. He was one of the invited speakers that day and still the BN member of Parliament for Kota Bahru then...he certainly did not sound like a BN MP! One thing was also clear, he was a maverick with a cause, unlike fellow Kelantanese, Ibrahim Ali that Rocky forgot to mention in the same breath as UMNO's Shahrir Samad, Tun Musa Hitam, and Tun Mahathir.
It also appears PKR is trying to evolve and with the latest changes to its constitution:
- Direct elections for divisional and central leadership positions.
- Change of terminology for divisions and branches (from ‘bahagian’ to ‘cabang’, and ‘cawangan’ to ‘ranting’).
- Implementation of a policy of 30 percent involvement of women in all levels of the party’s leadership.
- Reduction of the age limit of the Youth wing to 35.