Nazri’s ‘blow job’ in Parliament

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Nazri may smirk and blow hot air all he wants in Parliament but he is inadvertently helping to ‘blow’ this government away, come the next general election, observes Martin Jalleh.

Nazri Aziz

The Prime Minister has often preached about new winds of change and transformation blowing through Umno and into the country. There would be reform to deal corruption a deadly blow.

He has a very dependable Minister in his department who makes up for his frequent absence in Parliament, one who is very adept at blowing in the wind in the august House, i.e., providing answers that are as intangible (in meaning) as the wind – Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.

Nazri Aziz is also reputed for blowing a fuse and spewing caustic invective when he finds himself in an intellectual and logical void and when all sense and sensibility deserts him in parliament.

He blows his cool when challenged and when his trademark nonsense is made bare. Similarly, when his theatrics, temper tantrums, threats and taunts fail, he blows off steam, accompanied by low blows.

Occasionally, Parliament hears Nazri’s own blown up importance, the latest being his loud declaration and reminder to the Opposition that he is the “number one” minister of law – and of course, he knows everything about the law.

When the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal made it into the pages of the Attorney-General’s 2010 Report for failing to meet production targets, the government and Umno must have thought that it would soon blow over. The people will forget – or so they thought.

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But PKR’s strategic director Rafizi Ramli refused to allow it to blow itself out! He called on the government to act swiftly and sternly, but the powers-that-be together with the enforcement agencies preferred to blow hot and cold!

Najib’s initial response in Parliament over the scandal was that “production will soon increase”. The Agriculture Minister Noh Omar even called the project a “success”! Khairy Jamaluddin and Muhyiddin Yassin came up with justifications for the scandal that blew one’s mind!

Rafizi Ramli realised that the government chose to blow cold on the scandal. Bolehland would have to wait till the cows come home before any serious action was taken! He released the very details of NFC’s offences and criminal improprieties – bit by bit, blow by blow!

The NFC scandal blew up in the government’s face. It must have wished it could blow to smithereens the glaring and embarrassing evidence, like some people did to a poor lady six years ago!

NCF had blown a great part of the RM250m of taxpayers’ money by using soft government loans meant to develop the cattle project to buy luxury apartments, expensive overseas trips and a Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class.

It was evident that Najib and his government blew it! It had dealt itself a severe blow to its credibility and integrity, But in a move that blew everyone’s mind, instead of acting swiftly and severely against the culprits in NFC, the government chose to exact revenge on Rafizi Ramli.

In its continued justification of such a shameless act, the self-proclaimed “number one” minister of law was in Parliament recently blowing smoke with a lecture on the difference between “whistleblowers” and “trumpet-blowers”.

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Whilst blowing his own trumpet, Nazri implied that Rafizi was a “trumpet-blower” and was not accorded protection under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) 2010. In other words, if you blow the whistle to parties outside of (government) enforcement agencies, you will be not be given protection!

Nazri also warned opposition MPs, whom he said “were fond of exposing sensitive information”, to read the Officials Secrets Act (OSA) and the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) carefully so that they would not take a wrong step and be charged in court for it. Alas, why have a WPA when the government, its cronies and cohorts are “protected” by the OSA and Bafia?

Little did Nazri realize that he was indirectly highlighting a common and open secret – that the government has all along been blowing a lot of hot air with its WPA, passed in December 2010 which the government claimed was meant to encourage more to expose corrupt activities!

Upon closer scrutiny, the WPA is just one of those false (and faulty) ‘progressive’ laws promoted by the PM (and Nazri). The political persecution of Rafizi Ramli, who played a sterling role in blowing the lid on the litany of gross abuses by Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s family, marks a serious blow to the purported anti-corruption campaign launched by the PM.

Nazri may smirk all he wants in Parliament but he is helping to “blow” this government away, come the next general election!

Martin Jalleh is a well known political commentator.

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