Nazri called up by police over speech backlash (updated)


- Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz says he was called up by police on Monday (Feb 25) over his campaign speech in Semenyih.

The Barisan Nasional secretary-general said a police report was lodged after a video of his speech, where he appeared to call for the abolition of vernacular schools, went viral.

"There is a police report against me and I have given my statement," said Nazri.

In his campaign speech on Sunday (Feb 24), he reportedly questioned the appointment of non-Muslims as the Attorney General, Chief Justice and Finance Minister as a threat to the Malay special rights.

He also reportedly warned non-bumiputras not to question Malay special rights, using vernacular schools as an example of the special rights given to non-bumis.

"I want to tell them (non-bumis) if they fight for Malay privilege to be abolished, then I want to ask for the Chinese and Tamil schools to be abolished.

"Only then it is fair. There is no way only one race sacrifices, every race has to sacrifice," he was quoted saying.

As his speech received backlash, Nazri called for a press conference on Monday (Feb 25), strongly denying that he wants vernacular schools to be shut down.

He said such allegations are a ploy to turn voters against Barisan in the Semenyih by-election.

"In my speech, I said if non-bumiputras argue bumiputra rights, then bumiputras will also argue non-bumi rights, including their rights to vernacular education," he said.

Nazri said he was using the call to shut down vernacular schools as an example, and he was not advocating the abolition of vernacular schools.

"Vernacular education is something protected by the Constitution and cannot be disputed, including calls for abolition, these calls cannot be entertained.

"My point is don't argue our rights. We need to respect (each other)," he said.

"If I wanted to (abolish vernacular schools), I would have done it during my tenure as minister for 18 years," he added, saying that he had a record of defending non-Malays.

When asked about his controversial 2013 spat with the Chin Woo school, Nazri said it was a land issue.

"They encroached onto government land so we had to ask them to leave," he said.

Meanwhile, Nazri said whether MCA can successfully call for the dissolution of Barisan is an "academic question".

He said this was because the other two component parties in the coalition do not agree with the move. 

"Whether you call for a meeting or not, the dissolution won't happen," he said. 

He also said that MCA needs to explain their position in Barisan.

"When the parties decided they didn't like Barisan anymore, they just left. If they (MCA) want to leave Barisan, just leave la," he said.

MCA has been seeking to disband Barisan since December 2018, however, the opposition coalition has yet to call for a supreme council meeting that would enable MCA to table its resolution. 

Nazri also hit back at MCA Youth for accusing him of joining Pakatan Harapan in using the race card during his campaign speech in the Semenyih by-election.

"The way they attacked me is as if they are with Pakatan, but either way, I'm not bothered," he said.

 

Also present at the press conference were leaders from Kongres India Muslim Malaysia, Barisan Kemajuan India Se-Malaysia and Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party.


   

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