KUALA LUMPUR: Najib Razak said today he had never attacked sugar king Robert Kuok, after fellow MP Nazri Aziz said the latter had criticised the tycoon in order to defend the former prime minister.
Saying Kuok was a family friend, Najib said he had merely made a point that every successful tycoon in Malaysia owed their success to policies of the past Barisan Nasional government.
“Whether Lim Goh Tong or Robert Kuok or Vincent Tan… you name it. Every single one of them was given something by the government. But of course the credit goes to them because they know how to make money,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
“I am not saying that they don’t deserve it. I am just saying that there must be some recognition that the key was given to them by the Alliance and later the BN government,” he added.
Nazri had pointed out that his former boss had accused Kuok of not supporting the government despite getting government projects.
But Najib, who is now the BN adviser, said: “He (Kuok) has been a family friend, you see. But he (Nazri) might have intended to defend me but I was not in attack mode against Robert Kuok.”
“Why should I attack Robert Kuok?” asked Najib, adding that there might have been “a complete misunderstanding” of the whole issue.
Najib said Kuok was a friend for years with his parents and the families knew each other well.
On Sunday, Najib said Nazri was among the reasons the Chinese did not vote for MCA, adding that the latter’s criticism of Kuok had offended the Chinese community, resulting in the community not backing the MCA.