Monday, September 20, 2010
Nazri's Open Letter To Awang/Utusan
Nazri’s open letter to Awang Selamat
By Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz
Nazri has issued a put-up-or-shut-up challenge to Utusan Malaysia’s “Awang Selamat”. — file piC.
BUCHAREST, Sept 20 — I have read the comments by Awang Selamat on me in his column. I want to make some clarifications lest readers be misled into thinking what he wrote is correct.
Firstly, I am never afraid to be criticised by the opposition. I would like Awang to come to Parliament and see and hear for himself the vitriol and attacks I received whilst defending the Government on issues related to the Prime Minister’s Office.
In my 33 years in politics, I was never spared by anybody who makes criticisms against me — including the recent comments by Awang. I don’t know about Awang himself, because I don’t even know who he is. I hope he can be a man like me and prove that he is not scared of criticism by coming out in the open and not hiding behind the pseudonym that he uses.
I am also not anti-Dr Mahathir (Mohamad). To me, so far he is the best prime minister I have served. However, as an ex-premier, there is so much left to be desired.
Awang should get out of his time warp and face the fact that I am now in the government as a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and not vice versa. So it is Tun Mahathir who is criticising the Government and not the other way round.
Of course anybody, regardless of who criticises the government, will receive relentless attack in defence of the Government by me just as I had done in the past when Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi) were the prime ministers.
Having said that, I want Awang to know that I am always sure who my boss is. It’s not (Lim) Kit Siang nor (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim) because they are not prime minister of Malaysia, the chairman of BN or president of Umno.
And yes I am a Malaysian first and Malay next. Does any bigot have a problem with that?"
I am not too sure Awang knows who his boss is because he undermines the 1 Malaysia policy of the prime minister and promotes the narrow racism of (Datuk) Ibrahim Ali who is not even an Umno member. Awang should be asking himself the question he posed to me,
Being civil to the opposition is the right thing to do in a democracy, because just like me, they are also elected by the people. Of course, Awang is caught in the time warp of those days where government MPs do not only not engage them but hate and dislike them in all circumstances.
Awang will never understand this because he is not an elected MP, put in the House by the voice of the people. Anyway did Awang ever think of how five PKR MPs could cross and be independents, if not for the civility shown by me to them as parliamentary affairs minister?.
The number of crossovers to the independent caucus has exceeded the single MP from Pasir Mas, this so-called Malay Hero worshipped by Awang.
Incidentally, Umno has never asked or needed for Ibrahim to help us but the association with him will only cause us to lose votes.
Tun Mahathir himself told us about his loss in Kota Setar Selatan seat — a 90 per cent Malay majority parliamentary constituency — in 1969 to Yusof Rawa, where it was reported that Tun said he didn’t need Chinese votes. There is a lesson to be learned from this.
Of course, Awang will never understand because not only has he never offered himself as a candidate for the General Elections but readers don’t even know who he is.
Politicians like me who has stood for four general elections and won clearly have to be very careful in what we say and not be reckless like Awang. We need to muster all the votes regardless of race and we do not stay in the comfort zone as Awang does.
He can write and say anything irresponsibly and recklessly, knowing that he will never be punished by the voters.
That is why, Awang, if you asked what my agenda is, I think even school children will know that it’s to win the next general election and that Datuk Seri Najib (Razak) remains as prime minister of Malaysia.
I do hope that Awang also has the same agenda, unless of course his boss is somebody else. Finally I would advise Awang to stick to what he does and knows best and not try to meddle in national politics, of which he has shallow knowledge and zero experience.
He should concentrate in increasing his paper’s dwindling readership. It speaks volumes of their poor standards and performance when Utusan has to refer to the news report of the new electronic alternative media when it should be the reverse.
That will be his KPI and the measurement of his success in the field that he claims he represent well.
Mine is, of course, to win the Padang Rengas seat for Barisan Nasional in the next General Election regardless whether I am a candidate or not. Until then we shall see.
And yes I am a Malaysian first and Malay next. Does any bigot have a problem with that?.
* This letter by Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Tan Sri Abdul Aziz is in response to a Mingguan Malaysia editorial “Alahai Nazri ...” by Awang Selamat. The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and MP for Padang Rengas emailed it from Bucharest, Romania, where he is attending the Malaysian-Romanian Inter-parliamentarian Friendship Group” meet from September 19 to 23, 2010