Zaid Ibrahim has taken Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to task over his latest assault on PKR and DAP, where the latter questioned their loyalty to the Selangor sultan.
"This cheap political trick to question the loyalty of opposition parties should not come from a prime minister.
"In a democracy anyone who has a public duty has to be accountable for their actions," said the former minister.
Zaid was responding to Najib's speech at the Pekan Umno meet yesterday criticisingPKR and DAP for disputing the sultan’s powers and accusing them of not understanding the state constitution.
The Umno president also questioned the fate of the Malays, Islam and rulers should Umno and BN be ousted from power.
“Instead of telling the people in Pekan the complexities of democracy and how constitutional monarch and political leaders should conduct themselves, the PM took the lazy route of inflaming the feelings of the Malays; urging them that PKR and DAP will not protect the Malay rulers and their religion.
“For a man who talks about the great transformation for the country; this is irresponsible conduct and most disappointing,” said Zaid in his latest blog posting.
Stop provoking the Chinese and DAP
Meanwhile, the former minister also called on Umno to stop provoking the Chinese and DAP before the situation spirals out of control.
He added that the fact that Penang is spearheaded by a Chinese leader did not mean that there are ulterior motives such as preparing to wage war on the Malays.
"The Malays have all the guns and sultans, so no sensible Chinese will want to pick a fight with them.
"DAP is not so stupid that it will try to fight the armed forces and over a million (volunteer corps) Rela members, plus other defenders of Umno like Perkasa, Pekida and everybody else.
"There have been a number of senseless statements made in the last few months which Umno will regret later when it brings instability and discord to the country," he warned.
Zaid was commenting on the issue of the Penang Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS), which he said could have been handled in a better manner.
"If they had not complied with any laws or had failed to follow security procedures during the recruitment process, did Putrajaya follow up to ask them to rectify the situation?
"The police could easily have been engaged in these discussions," he said.
If Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had stubbornly refused, Zaid said, the authorities could have told the people that he rebuffed all offers to sit down and discuss the issue.
“Tell the people that he spurned the federal government’s goodwill. But all we know of this matter is that there was a sudden warning, followed by the shocking arrest of so many of these volunteers,” he added.
Zaid expressed concern that the anti-DAP feeling would spin out of control into anti-Chinese sentiment.
"This in turn can turn into a movement against non-Malays and, ultimately, non-Muslims. Hatred will then consume the nation. Then what?
"Most likely racial clashes will take place and many Chinese and other innocent lives will be lost, including the Malays. The country will grind to a halt.
"The wealthy leaders will flee the country and the so-called defenders of the Malay race will run to London or Argentina, while we ordinary people who just want live in peace with everyone, regardless of whether they wear sari or voted DAP or not, will have to start all over again.
"We will have to rebuild this country, if that is even at all possible," he added.