COMMENT | Love him or loathe him, Nazri Abdul Aziz speaks the truth at times. So let’s give that to him, at least.
No, I am not about to defend the tourism and culture minister for his recent “sins” – although I think they are not unforgivable – but rather to dissect the human in this being.
I must say that I personally find the minister rather “entertaining,” for want of a better word, when he gets into a “fit.”
Oh yes, everyone wants to hear and then retaliate to what comes out of his mouth. I’m amused at the attention Nazri is able to garner when he decides to be rude and throws it all out, without thinking of the consequences.
He has created an “earthquake” in the country by just being foul-mouthed and rude. Now, that’s amusing to me, actually quite amazing even.
For the record, the minister has never denied that he has been rude. At least, he came clean on that.
You can describe him as the most “uncultured” culture minister, but I don’t think Nazri cares a damn.
In fact, he seems to take pride in his unruly behaviour, saying publicly that he is a rude person and that he learned how to be rude from Dr Mahathir Mohamad (photo).
Of course, I disagree with Nazri on that. Mahathir has often been sarcastic yes, rude never.
Oh I forgot, Mahathir is a recalcitrant too, as former Australian prime minister Paul Keating once called him. And that’s about it.
It has been said that rude utterings from a politician need not necessarily be a sign of his insecurity, but rather his strength.
Those who know Nazri well will tell you he is not at all insecure. In fact, his flamboyant character makes him strikingly bold, and showcases his brilliance in some ways.
Do we not know that the person who feigns stupidity is actually smart and intelligent?
What else can you make of Nazri, who has long been known for his foul mouth and who has antagonised his boss, cabinet colleagues, and even members of royalty for so long, but is still a minister today?
Nazri is actually politically brilliant. A lesser man would have been fired a long time ago.
That aside, one thing is clear – Nazri is rude, rude and rude.
Of late, the minister has been on the receiving end of heated criticisms from all corners for his indecent, uncouth and uncalled-for tirade against billionaire Robert Kuok.
Ever since he started “talking Kuok” a week ago, there is no end to the barrage of brickbats against him, particularly from the MCA and certain sectors of the Chinese community.
I think they are wasting time in demanding an apology from Nazri. The minister is not someone who will apologise for anything he has said or done if he thinks he is not wrong.
That is the strength of his character, although others might call it weakness.
I doubt Nazri would apologise to his boss, the prime minister or even the king. When did we ever hear an apology from the minister?
This is Nazri and I think his Umno colleagues have accepted him for what he is. Apparently, MCA leaders could not, and taking on Nazri has turned out to be their nightmare.
And this is why I’m saying that Nazri speaks the truth at times. In responding to MCA Youth leader Chong Sin Woon’s apology demand, the minister retorted that the DAP, and not MCA, represent the Chinese community as they won the most Chinese seats in the last elections.
Well, this is the truth, isn’t it?
Nazri has also belittled the MCA as a “crybaby” running to the prime minister when they could not handle the public spat with him.
Again, isn’t this the truth?
MCA leaders have long been known to be subservient to Umno leaders, and the sooner the current crop of younger MCA leaders wake up to this “servile image” of their party, the better. That is, if they ever want to claim that they represent the Chinese in the country again.
Nazri knows what MCA leaders are made of. He is probably aware how a former deputy prime minister who is now in jail used to mock MCA leaders, saying how he only has to whisper and they would come running to him.
This is another truth which MCA would find hard to swallow.
Did Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak rebuke Nazri with a public statement after last Wednesday’s cabinet meeting following MCA’s complaint against Nazri? No.
And what does Najib’s silence on the matter tell the MCA? It’s time for MCA president Liow Tiong Lai and his band of brothers to wise up.
Call me naïve, but contrary to what others might think, I do not see any racial lining in Nazri’s tirades against Kuok in the first place.
The human in Nazri is that he uses toxic coffee-shop lingo when he gets into a fit and that is his character. Don’t expect him to change. I wouldn’t.
FRANCIS PAUL SIAH heads the Movement for Change Sarawak (MoCS) and can be reached at [email protected].
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.