Malaysia Votes 2018

Ex-finance minister Daim campaigns for opposition

Tun Daim Zainuddin (left, wearing cap) with Parti Keadilan Rakyat deputy president Azmin Ali (centre) at an opposition rally.
Tun Daim Zainuddin (left, wearing cap) with Parti Keadilan Rakyat deputy president Azmin Ali (centre) at an opposition rally.PHOTO: AZMIN ALI/INSTAGRAM

PORT KLANG • Malaysia's former finance minister Daim Zainuddin made a surprise appearance at the side of Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali on Monday night.

The appearance of Tun Daim, 80, who is still politically influential, is significant as he attended an opposition rally, instead of one organised by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

Mr Daim was in the Cabinet of then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad - who is now an opposition leader - and he was also Umno's treasurer.

Datuk Seri Azmin tweeted two pictures of himself with Mr Daim at a campaign stop, with a caption saying: "Tun Daim accompanied me at the GE14 campaigning in Telok Gong, Port Klang and at Kampung Bukit Kapar in Sementa, which are Umno strongholds".

Mr Azmin is deputy president of opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat, a member of Pakatan Harapan (PH).

Yesterday, Mr Daim dropped by Pendang constituency in Kedah to canvass for several PH candidates including Mr Wan Saiful Wan Jan, who is from Tun Dr Mahathir's party, PPBM. "Your vote is for your future, and that of your children and grandchildren," Mr Daim said.

His political views are much sought after since he predicted in a 2008 interview, against the general wisdom then, that BN would lose four state assemblies in the March 2008 elections - Kelantan, Penang, Selangor and Kedah.

Indeed, the Perak state legislature also fell to the opposition.

In the 2013 election, he campaigned for Prime Minister Najib Razak by visiting several states.

This year, he joins two other Mahathir-era ministers who have in recent weeks spoke out against the Najib administration - former trade minister Rafidah Aziz and former culture minister Rais Yatim.

Tan Sri Rafidah, in yet another jab at Datuk Seri Najib, yesterday put up a Facebook post asking for a change in government on May 9. She likened Malaysia to a large house that is falling apart and infested with pests due to its bad "contractor".

She wrote that Malaysians living in the house must not be afraid to terminate this "contractor" for another one led by Dr Mahathir, or the house might collapse.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2018, with the headline 'Ex-finance minister Daim campaigns for opposition'. Print Edition | Subscribe