Not tapping Najib’s experience as ex-PM would be waste: Nazri

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It would be a real waste if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob does not utilise the expertise of Datuk Seri Najib Razak and appoint the former prime minister as his economic adviser, said an Umno leader.

Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said it would be a wise move considering Najib’s past experience as prime minister himself from April 2009 to May 2018, a period the former said had seen the country reach new heights.

This comes amid rumours that Najib is set to be given the position of economic adviser to the prime minister with a ministerial rank.

“I was not aware of the news, but honestly, I agree. We want to tap his experience as a former prime minister for nine years, during which time he was also the finance minister,” he told The Vibes today.

“People have to remember that during his tenure, Malaysia’s economy was booming. So, to me, I think there is no problem with appointing him.

“Also, this is not an executive post, just an advisory one. After all, Najib already has his perks as a former premier. This appointment, if it happens, is just to utilise his experience. It’s a real waste if we don’t.”

Nazri was commenting on a report by UtusanTV quoting a source as saying that Najib’s appointment as adviser is expected to be made soon.

This follows a meeting between Najib and Ismail Sabri on Tuesday, in which the former pledged to contribute his energy, time, and ideas for the sake of “Keluarga Malaysia”.

If the speculations are true, Najib will be the latest to join Ismail Sabri’s government with a ministerial rank, after Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s appointment as National Recovery Council chairman and three others who are special envoys, including PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

This also raises the question of Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed’s role as minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of the economy.

Ismail Sabri and Najib have yet to confirm the speculation.

Nazri said that while the move will be unpopular among the masses if true, it is what is best for the country, particularly with the prime minister already burdened with the responsibility of addressing the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

“Surely, Ismail Sabri needs all the support and advice from people with experience. The public has to understand his position.

“To the rakyat, while I understand their sentiment, what’s important is the end result,” he said, adding he does not see Najib’s ongoing court cases as an issue, since his rumoured appointment is not an executive one.

Nazri’s remarks today run contrary to his stand on Najib last month, when he slammed the Pekan MP and those withdrawing support for the Perikatan Nasional government then as “bloody liars”.

“Please send my message to Najib. The 40 MPs who met that day, we discussed and agreed that we don’t mind backing Perikatan Nasional, even if we don’t support Muhyiddin. That b****** Najib even spoke, and so did Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (Pontian MP).

“Now, he (Najib) turned around and made fun saying only 31 MPs are backing PN. That’s because he lied. Bloody liars,” he had said. – The Vibes, September 9, 2021

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