Phang gives Nazri’s non-Malay PM remark thumbs up

By Yow Hong Chieh, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — Tan Sri Robert Phang has saluted Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz for saying a non-Malay could be prime minister if he was right for the job.

Phang, a former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) adviser, said the de facto law minister’s statement was “very meaningful” and would help towards building a truly multiracial nation.

Phang said Nazri’s statement would help towards building a truly multiracial nation. — File pic
“I must congratulate him for his farsightedness and conviction, which will transmit a very positive message to the people that the 1 Malaysia concept introduced by the PM is alive and well.

“For Datuk Nazri to have given this statement clearly illustrates that his true leadership is governed by the 1 Malaysia spirit… Well said, and well put,” the Social Care Foundation chairman told The Malaysian Insider.

In an interview with The Edge Financial Daily published today, Nazri said he had no objection to a non-Malay prime minister so long as the best man got the job.

“If it happens that the best person is a non-Malay, so be it,” the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said.

“I cannot say, ‘I’m Malaysian first, but the prime minister must be Malay.’ You can’t have your cake and eat it (too).”

Last year, Nazri became the first Umno minister to declare he was Malaysian first and Malay second, in line with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia concept.

His words appeared to be a direct snub to his superior in Umno, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who once famously declared himself to be Malay first and Malaysian second.

But Nazri stressed today it was crucial for a Malay leader to lead the charge for greater inclusivity as non-Malay leaders would have a hard time garnering broad support.