PETALING JAYA: Former BN chairman Najib Razak has fought back against criticism of his appointment as an adviser to the coalition, stating he had not taken it up to lay the path for his return as prime minister.
In fact, his appointment was to strengthen BN and its component parties, he told Sinar Harian after attending a Bossku gathering of his supporters in Batu Kawan, Penang.
Najib, who is Pekan MP, said anyone could play the role as BN adviser, as long as the person is able to offer consistent criticism of the PH government, while also getting the backing of MCA and MIC.
In a Facebook posting tonight, he singled out a critic, Umno Supreme Council member Nazri Aziz, and pointedly questioned Nazri’s willingness to challenge the ruling party.
“If he wants, he can replace me as BN’s adviser. But he has to play his role as an opposition MP,” Najib said.
“The opposition party’s responsibility is not just to oppose the opposition. Occasionally, it needs to criticise the government,” Najib said sarcastically.
Nazri, who is MP for Padang Rengas, had criticised Najib’s appointment as BN adviser. In response, Najib took a stab at Nazri’s friendship with DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
Najib said Nazri had previously rejected PAS and urged Umno to work with DAP and brush aside MCA and MIC.
In the Sinar Harian interview, Najib said: “Is he willing to criticise the PH government? We are also aware that he (Nazri) was asked by MCA and MIC to step down as the secretary-general of BN.
“MCA had previously informed me that the reasons for the Chinese not voting for BN was because of criticism by Nazri against (business tycoon) Robert Kuok, causing the Chinese to be disappointed,” Najib was quoted as saying.
Najib said he, together with others in BN, will now focus efforts on strengthening the coalition and urged others keen to do so to join in.
“This is the spirit we need. Instead of criticising one another openly, we should find ways to strengthen the party,” Najib added.
Nazri and another outspoken Umno MP, Khairy Jamaluddin, earlier today spoke out against party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for allowing Najib to become the main adviser to Barisan Nasional.
They said the decision was not in line with the party’s interests. Furthermore, Nazri said the decision was not one endorsed by the Umno Supreme Council, of which he is a member.