KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, lashed out at Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today and described the former premier’s remarks as the “most stupid statement” that he has ever heard.
Dr Mahathir had said earlier today that Nazri should resign from Umno because if he were against racism, he should not be in a racist party.
“He (Nazri) said I am racist? Don’t ever say he is not, because he knows everything very well. He belongs to a party and that is a racist party, which is Umno. Umno is a party ‘perkauman’ and it’s meant only for Malays and nobody [else] can join in. So he is in a racist party but said he is against racism. So he should resign from the party,” Dr Mahathir had told reporters at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre today.
In response, Nazri pointed out that Dr Mahathir’s comments only confirmed what he said about him was right.
“You know that the bigger concept is the Barisan Nasional. This party (Umno) was formed and it was not decided by me. I joined because I want to serve the government. I want to serve the people and that was the platform prepared for me so actually when you want to talk about forming the party, he was involved in forming the party.
“That is not my problem, that is his problem and I only joined the system as it is. I only want to serve the people and the only way I can serve is through this party.
“I am right in the sense that if Umno is a racist party, he was a president of a racist party so he is [therefore] a racist,” he said.
Nazri added that Dr Mahathir’s arguments did not make him less racist.
Nazri had called Mahathir a “bloody racist” yesterday for defending the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) courses, and reasserted the Cabinet’s earlier decision to overhaul the programme.
He explained that patriotism was not meant only for the Malays but for all Malaysians.
Nazri also slammed Umno’s Utusan Malaysia newspaper, saying its “denial syndrome is making me laugh.” The minister in the prime minister’s department repeated his stand that “everybody knows what the BTN is,” so there was nothing to hide.
Nazri’s attack on Dr Mahathir wa,s however, not published in Umno-owned newspapers today.
“It does not matter to me, I don’t know what are the reasons but to me if Tun Mahathir can make criticisms against the government then he is not immune to criticisms from members of government,” he said.