Will Nazri be the straw that broke Barisan Nasional (BN)?

Nazri’s racially-tinted remarks during the Semenyih by-election was part of a long line of arrogant comments made against the BN partners. As such, it came as no surprise when MCA and MIC sought to look at other avenues outside the coalition.

Nazri is no stranger to controversy, perhaps rightly so. He is very closely aligned with Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and is also allegedly implicated in the tunnel scandal that Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is investigating.

Constantly the “agent provocateur”, he has made many racial comments and even had taken swipes at former Prime Minister, Najib Razak. Umno’s Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan had said that Nazri should not be an antagonist.

Abdul Rahman said that as the secretary-general of BN, Nazri should act in a more diplomatic manner when handling coalition matters. Earlier this week, MCA and MIC issued a joint statement, saying that Nazri should not attend the upcoming meeting, where the future of Barisan Nasional will be decided upon, as his appointment as BN secretary-general was “unconstitutional.”

The two parties added that if Nazri attends the meeting, then the legitimacy of the meeting will be disputed.

However, Nazri had shot back at MCA and MIC, saying that the two component parties are free to leave BN, as such a move will not be viewed as a loss for the coalition.

Observers mentioned that Nazri “… isn’t the kind of man who would step down for the benefit of the party and even if he leaves the party, he would make a beeline for Pribumi.” Others added that “it would not be a bad thing, as at least he would be among friends.”

Since Nazri’s comments, many “Malay ultras” have come out defending him – believing that UMNO-PAS can go alone, together, to win GE15.

“That is a foolish and dangerous thought. Malaysia is a multiracial country. Saying one race can go at it alone sends dangerous signals. All races need to support each other. Look at DAP. While they claim to be a multiracial party, they are heavily Chinese dominated and they don’t play well with others. Who would want the same with the Malays?” said an UMNO supporter opposed to the idea.

Many supporters of UMNO have expressed that Nazri needs to be “flushed out” for the greater good of the party. Keeping loose cannons like Nazri out do not bode well for the party which is trying to re-organise itself after the disastrous GE14. The party needs to focus on itself and BN without having to constantly manage people like Nazri and doing damage control for his volatile actions.

The fate of Nazri and the future of the Coalition will be the topics of discussion in the Barisan Nasional supreme council meeting this Friday, March 08.

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