Nazri: ‘I was waiting for Dr M to speak first’

Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz (left) shares a light banter over cendol with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed (centre) and his wife, Tuni Dr Siti Hasmah Ali in Kuala Kangsar, Perak, March 25, 2017. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz said today he kept silent during his meeting with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Padang Rengas because he did not want to intrude on his privacy.

The tourism and culture minister said Dr Mahathir was a guest in his constituency and had waited for the former prime minister to ask questions during the meet-up, but to no avail.

“I waited for Tun Mahathir to ask me questions but he just kept quiet. I didn’t want to encroach [on] his privacy.

“When he was PM, the culture was he would ask the questions and you would answer only when spoken to. Maybe out of respect to that culture; it was his event, I just kept quiet,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted today.

Nazri also claimed that the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman was “shocked” to see him at the riverside after avoiding an earlier meeting at MRSM Sultan Azlan Shah.

Responding to Dr Mahathir’s claims that Padang Rengas constituents were not well looked after, Nazri said it was a preposterous allegation and insisted he has brought a lot of change to the rural constituency in Perak.

“I have done a lot here and the people know it. There are a lot of development like the MRSM and the Lenggong-Kuala Kangsar highway despite it being a rural area. I was waiting at the MRSM to show him that,” he shot back.

Dr Mahathir is on a nationwide tour as part of PPBM’s campaign after the party split from Umno. Nazri and Mahathir previously had agreed to a debate in Padang Rengas during his visit, but it was not permitted by the police.

The debate instead will be held on April 7 in Shah Alam and touch on issues like the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.