Starting new party? Easier to run business, minister tells Nazir Razak, Saifuddin

CEO of Global Movement of Moderates, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, speaks at the ‘Voices of Moderation’ forum at KDU University college in Shah Alam, April 2, 2015. — Picture by Choo Choi May
CEO of Global Movement of Moderates, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, speaks at the ‘Voices of Moderation’ forum at KDU University college in Shah Alam, April 2, 2015. — Picture by Choo Choi May

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — An Umno minister today wished Datuk Seri Nazir Razak and Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah well following an unconfirmed report of their alleged involvement in forming of a new party, telling the duo that it is easier to run a business than a political entity.

Taking to Twitter, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan reminded Nazir, who is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s brother and CIMB group chairman, and Saifuddin, a former Umno deputy minister, that for political parties to survive, they would have to cater to the many wishes of an often uncompromising Malaysian public.

“But sometimes running an NGO or a business organisation is so much easier than running a political party,” the federal lawmaker from Sabah wrote on the microblogging site.

“Once you are speaking from a political platform, your words and your policies will be under intense scrutiny by the public.

“You will quickly realize tht lofty ideals, while good to hear, will hv to be tampered (sic) with harsh and uncompromising realities on the ground,” he said.

He added that running a political party not only requires mental and physical stamina, but also the ability to keep a finger on the pulse of the Malaysian public whose support makes or breaks of any such entity.

Abdul Rahman acknowledged, however, that that the report by Asia Sentinel on Nazir and Saifuddin’s alleged new party plans has yet to be confirmed.

“At this time it is purely speculative. But if it is true, I wish them the best of luck.  Any Malaysian can set up a political party,” he wrote.

“Personally I welcome more political parties offering themselves to the public. The more the merrier. In the end the people will decide,” the minister added.

Asia Sentinel today published a report without sources to claim that Nazir is planning a “nonpartisan political entity” to put an end to divisive racial politics here.

The purported party, according to the report, will have former Umno deputy minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah as its face.

A source later confirmed with The Star that a new political entity is currently being established but denied Nazir’s involvement.

The anonymous source, whom the newspaper described as “close to the CIMB group chairman”, also disputed news portal Asia Sentinel’s claim that the prime minister’s brother had met business leaders over the said party.

Nazir has been outspoken recently on public issues, including the controversy surrounding state-owned 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Saifuddin responded to Malay Mail Online’s call to verify the report by saying he will answer questions “later”.

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