Fighting words by Zam: More stories to come

More stories to come, says Zam

It’s not over, says Zam




Zainuddin Maidin, stating his unwavering support of Mahathir Mohamad, has responded to critics and supporters with fighting words: he would continue writing though not on politics; more juicy stories would be coming; the methods would change but not the content.

Zam had yesterday he was giving up political blogging, in the midst of a running battle of words and nerves between supporters of Mahathir Mohamad and his campaign to unseat Najib Razak, and Najib’s allies, into which supporters of his rival Anwar Ibrahim have been drawn.

Critics had said yesterday Zam had been pressured by Najib supporters to shut up.

But the former Utusan Malaysia editor and information minister said today the battle would carry on, in different ways.

To reinforce his commitment, he said: “End the Dynasty!” reiterating Mahathir’s call last week, in what most people take to be a reference to Najib, son of Malaysia’s second prime minister: Mahathir himself coyly said he had never mentioned Najib by name, leaving it open to interpretation. Continue reading


Zaid sticks it to Zam (and Anwar)

Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim tweaked Zainuddin Maidin today for announcing he was giving up political blogging, and not sticking by his mentor Mahathir Mohamad. At the same time, he took a sharp dig at Anwar Ibrahim (whose rivalry with Mahathir stretches back two decades), whom Zam had blamed for his being removed as Utusan Malaysia chief editor in 1998.

In a tweet on Twitter, Zaid said: “Come on Zam, be a man, don’t submit if you believe in the cause?” Zaid pointed out that “country was going down” (possibly a reference to current economic problems, a ballooning deficit, and political malaise).

But he also reminded Zam that “to be bold you have to be clean” — a point he was to repeat, about anti-Najib Umno rebels, but possibly also a dig at Anwar of whom it has been said that he had “too much baggage” to be a credible alternative. Continue reading

Zam, Kadir, Johan and power struggles

Umno-friendly Malaysian Digest reporting on Zam last week

Umno-friendly Malaysian Digest reporting on Zam last week

Zainuddin Maidin has been a longtime friend of Mahathir Mohamad, a fellow Kedahan, and both share conservative views on Malay and Muslim rights.

Zam’s journalism career began in 1951 as a “stringer” (part-timer) for Utusan in Alor Star, where Mahathir had his clinic. After 10 years as a stringer, he was appointed Utusan staff reporter and rose through the ranks, his career coinciding with Mahathir’s own rise, becoming chief editor in 1982.

Utusan Malaysia, owned outright by Umno, was the leading Malaysian newspaper at the time and known for its conservative stance on Malay rights and took provocative positions on non-Malay affairs.

Zam frequently wrote provocative pieces using the Awang Selamat pseudonym, which continues to champion Malay and Muslim supremacy in Malaysian affairs. Continue reading

Daim and Anwar ousted me as editor: Zam

Former Utusan Malaysia chief editor Zainuddin Maidin has accused former finance ministers Daim Zainuddin and Anwar Ibrahim of jointly ousting him from the Utusan editorship in 1993.

Defending his independence against accusations that he was a tool of political masters, Zam said he had never been a hack in his five decades in journalism. Zam said he had been loyal to Utusan and its policies on the party and the party leadership and had never served up fiction.

Zam: always loyal to Utusan, Umno and leaders
[Image: Malaysiakini]

“Daim and Anwar who were jointly responsible for ousting me as Utusan chief editor know my stance,” he said.

Long seen as a staunch Mahathir loyalist, Zam was “kicked upstairs” as editorial adviser in Utusan in 1992 when Anwar became deputy prime minister, and later to a corporate position. He was replaced by Anwar ally Johan Jaffar, who was in turn later ousted with Anwar’s downfall in 1998.

Zam then went on to enter politics under Mahathir as senator in 1998 and MP in 2004, later becoming a minister of information under Abdullah Badawi before defeat in the 2008 elections ended his political career.

Johan Jaafar after some years in the wilderness, is now chairman of Media Prima, the Umno-controlled owner of commercial television, New Straits Times and Berita Harian.


Zaid Ibrahim sticks it to Zam (and Anwar)

» Zam decides to shut up as Anwar-Daim fight

» Zam, Johan, Kadir and power struggles

Zam decides to shut up as Anwar-Daim fight

Zam says farewell to political blogging

Zainuddin Maidin, in a surprise announcement today, said he was giving up political blogging, hinting it might be because of accusations that he was part of a Daim-Mahathir conspiracy to topple Najib Razak.

“It is so easy to jump to conclusions,” Zam said. “If I have tea with Daim, at his invitation, and meet Mahathir with one or two friends, it is immediately seen to be that I am part of the conspiracy to topple Najib.”

Then Zam asked:

“In that case, can I also conclude that TV3 airing Anwar’s threat to expose Daim is a conspiracy between Anwar and Najib to help Najib stay in power?”

Umno-controlled TV3’s coverage of events relating to Daim also figured in a rare public statement from Daim last week, in which he said:

“TV3 which would not give two minutes of air time to Pakatan, has aired the PKR press conference no less than three times. The NST and Utusan have also carried these news.”

Najib has been facing mounting attacks from Mahathir and allies questioning his handling of the economy, and particularly focusing on 1MDB, the government-owned investment agency.

Pro-Najib forces recently launched a counter-attack, throwing the spotlight on Daim, who was once finance minister in Mahathir’s government, and who is accused of having amassed billions which he parked overseas.

Last week, Kadir Jasin, former chief editor of New Straits Times Press, warned off Pakatan Rakyat supporters, saying that the campaign against Daim might backfire on Anwar Ibrahim.


Zaid Ibrahim sticks it to Zam (and Anwar)

» Daim and Anwar both ousted me as editor: Zam

» Zam, Johan, Kadir and power struggles