Nazri blames BN’s chauvinism for low support

By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 – Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz blamed his Barisan Nasional comrades today for driving away support with their chauvinistic ways, warning them that they could not ride on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s popularity to win the general election.

The vocal Umno supreme council member told The Malaysian Insider this afternoon that he blamed the “communal leadership” of certain BN politicians for the public’s declining confidence in the ruling coalition.

“I blame the leaders. Some have become ministers but still look at themselves as communal leaders instead of national leaders.

“But this makes little sense for once you are a minister, you represent all… not just your party or your race,” he said.

Nazri was responding to the results of a Merdeka Center survey that showed 45 per cent of Malays were dissatisfied with Umno while only 44 per cent were satisfied.

Umno performed even worse with the Chinese community, with only 12 per cent saying they were satisfied while 55 per cent were dissatisfied. A total of 34 per cent had evaded response, suggesting the possibility that a larger number than the 55 per cent could be dissatisfied with Umno.

The poll results, which involved a sample size of more than 1,000 registered voters in the peninsula, contrasted significantly with Najib’s approval rating of 72 per cent in a separate poll conducted in May.

Nazri however, claimed that Najib’s popularity alone would not be enough to help the BN win the next general election.

“The prime minister being popular on his own is not enough. The BN should be popular. A popular PM cannot carry the BN through to a victory and this was proven in the Sibu by-election.

“If this 72 per cent indeed says something, then we should have won in Sibu but we lost, so what good is a popular prime minister if he cannot carry the BN?” he said.

Nazri bleakly pointed out that if the BN leadership failed to buck up, the coalition would only go further downhill and eventually lose in the coming general election.

“BN really has to do a lot of image building… otherwise, we will face trouble in the 13th general election. I can see that Umno members, MCA members…. none have learnt their lessons,” he said.

Nazri claimed that BN leaders, in their attempt to regain lost support from the people, had resorted to making harsh statements.

“They make harsh statements to win support from their own communities. Meaning, they would rather win in the newspapers than in the hearts of the people.

“The MCA, by showing they are chauvinistic Chinese, think they can get the support of the Chinese community. But then, the Chinese already have the DAP, so what is MCA trying to do?” he said.