KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz has chastised former cabinet minister Zainuddin Maidin with a stinging remark, calling him a “stupid fellow” for speculating that Umno will not allow him to debate with former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Commenting on a blog article that Zainuddin recently posted, Nazri said the proposed debate was not against any national interest.
He described the former information minister, also known as Zam, as “really stupid” and said he was “speaking rubbish”.
“Malaysia is a free country,” he added. “I don’t need permission from the party. Tell the stupid fellow to shut up.”
Nazri told FMT “no one touched on the subject” of the debate at yesterday’s cabinet meeting, which was attended by both Prime Minister Najib Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
In his blog article, Zainuddin said Nazri should have sought permission from Umno before accepting Mahathir’s challenge. He said Umno would not allow the debate to take place on the pretext that it would breach party discipline.
The debate is scheduled for next Saturday in Kuala Kangsar. Nazri said he hoped the police would allow it, adding that he would seek Zahid’s intervention if the police refused to give permission. The Deputy Prime Minister is also the Home Minister.
Perak police chief Hasnan Hassan recently said police had not received any application for the gathering at which the debate would take place. He said the gathering would be illegal without a police permit.
“I hope police will let the debate go on,” Nazri said. “If police don’t allow it, I will speak directly to the DPM.”