Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz says he is representing his constituents in Padang Rengas, in defending the prime minister against “lies” perpetuated by former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad on 1MDB.
This is in response to Finance Minister II Johari Abdul Ghani, who said Nazri would not be representing the government in the debate against Mahathir in Kuala Kangsar on March 25.
“I am also confused because the government and my party say that I am not representing BN or the government, but the opposition says I am.
“Simply put, I am representing the Padang Rengas constituents, because I am Padang Rengas MP,” Nazri told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
To a question, he said he would also be defending Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in the debate.
“I am a minister and the PM appointed me, so wherever I go, I cannot run away from the fact that I am a BN MP and a cabinet minister,” said the five-term MP.
Nazri said the police have already approved the debate, which would be held at the Kuala Kangsar Mara Junior College (MRSM) hall, instead of the earlier planned Millennium Hall.
“But we have be sure of this because the hall is within a school compound,” he said.
He said there is also discussion on whether to limit the audience to only 200 people, despite the hall’s capacity to hold 800.
Meanwhile, in a related matter, Nazri said Mahathir was acknowledging the BN’s successes when he advised the opposition to study how BN operates to win the 14th general election.
Mahathir, who was the longest-serving Umno president, is now chairperson of Umno splinter Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
“He acknowledges our success… BN didn’t copyright its ways so he can copy our template all he wants. We will face each other at the general election,” Nazri said.