KUALA LUMPUR: The support of the Chinese community for Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and Barisan Nasional (BN) component party MCA dwindled long before the 14th General Election (GE14).
Umno veteran Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz, in a rebuke to Najib, said the latter’s claim that the Chinese vote for MCA had declined due to his overboard criticism of business magnate Tan Sri Robert Kuok was inaccurate.
The Padang Rengas MP instead said he was merely acting in defence of the former premier then, back in 2018.
“I made the statement (against Kuok) in defence of Najib’s earlier statement in regards to the tycoon. My statement was only to support him, I was just defending him as (Umno) president then.
“But if we look at MCA, they lost (big in the elections) not because of my statement. They lost because the Chinese community no longer supports them.
“The downward trend of support by the Chinese for Najib has long been there. Even if I didn’t issue my statement (on Kuok), they would still have lost (the elections),” he told reporters in Parliament, here, today.
“It has nothing to do with my statement. Najib should check his facts,” he added.
Najib had on Sunday hit out at Nazri, claiming MCA had informed him that the declining Chinese support in the elections was due to the latter’s criticism of Kuok, that offended the community.
His statement came just hours after Nazri criticised Najib’s appointment as the BN adviser, and that he had also purportedly lobbied for the position of BN chairperson, suggesting he was trying to make a comeback as prime minister.
Earlier in 2018, Najib reminded Kuok that his business had boomed due to the government help, with Nazri later describing the Malaysia’s richest man as a “pondan” (effeminate), and challenging the 94-year-old billionaire to return to Malaysia to contest in the coming polls.
Meanwhile, Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa maintained that no action would be taken against Nazri by the party for his criticism of Najib, claiming members were free to air their personal views.
“It was his personal statement, and we have decided there is nothing wrong in members expressing their views. It is not a disciplinary matter. It’s a personal opinion, and he’s entitled to it,” he said,
Annuar added that the appointment of Najib as BN adviser has been discussed and agreed upon in the last BN supreme council meeting.
“There was a consensus, and approval was done according to normal procedure. It is not an issue,” he said.