KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — Former minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz today fired his second salvo at Datuk Seri Najib Razak, labelling the latter as being in denial and a “tainted” person.
Speaking to Malay Mail, Nazri also requested that Najib vacate his new role as Barisan Nasional’s (BN) adviser, saying that the latter’s comeback is not in the best interests of the party.
The former tourism minister also deemed his former party boss a liability.
“I also feel that he is not acting in the interest of the party, by coming back to be active in BN, because he is tainted, and he is being charged with so many charges in court which makes him a liability to the party, and by opposing this, I’m working in the interest of the party,” Nazri said.
Nazri also sought to answer Najib’s criticism of the former’s leadership when the duo were both in BN, seeking to clarify several accusations, including that of him opposing the cooperation between Umno and PAS.
He admitted that while he had opposed the cooperation before, he is in full support of it now, after realising his mistake.
“That is true, but once I saw that the cooperation with PAS is good, I’m a strong supporter now. I support this, so what’s wrong with that?
“It is people like me who can admit that I made a mistake earlier, and then I support the cooperation now. What about him? He doesn’t want to admit that we lost because of him. This is the trouble. This is the problem. Denial syndrome,” he said.
Yesterday, Najib responded to Nazri’s previous criticism of his appointment by accusing the latter of harming BN’s interests ahead of the general election and questioning his commitment to the coalition.
The former PM claimed MCA had told him that Nazri’s remarks about tycoon Robert Kuok had hurt the Chinese party’s standing with the community.
Today, Nazri claimed he was only repeating Najib’s comments critical of Kuok.
“I want him to know, he better tell the people that when I made the statement, that was in support of his earlier statement against Robert Kuok. Check properly,” Nazri said.
He also insisted he was not to blame for MCA’s decline, pointing out that the BN component went from 37 parliamentary seats to 15 in Election 2008, and fell to just seven in 2013.
Nazri said the only party responsible for the Chinese party’s dismal showing was MCA itself.
He also said he was under no obligation to consistently attack the government as that was solely the job of the federal opposition leader.
Nazri also said it was more Najib’s role to respond to the allegations against his administration as he was both prime minister and finance minister during the period when the latter’s alleged corruption and money-laundering took place.
Nazri said rather than opposing the Pakatan Harapan administration wholesale, he preferred to be intelligent in when to dispute their policies.
“I didn’t agree with the PH government on ICERD, and number two, on the Statute of Rome, I opposed,” he said referring to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) and the Rome Statute, both of which Malaysia planned to ratify initially, only to backtrack later owing to intense pressure by the Malay-Muslims.
He then thanked MCA and MIC for opposing his selection to be BN secretary-general, saying he would not have been able to bring himself to announce Najib as the coalition’s chief adviser.
On July 9, BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor announced Najib’s appointment as the chairman of the coalition’s advisory board, prompting criticism from coalition leaders such as Nazri and former Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.