Nazri: I was appointed as envoy by Ismail Sabri’s administration

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Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz’s appointment as the Malaysian ambassador to the United States was made during former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s administration.

Nazri revealed this today, saying the decision was made in February, and had gotten the consent of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah before his name was sent to the US in April.

“I only received the news from the US through Wisma Putra in October last year.

“So, (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim) was right. It (the appointment) was made six months ago.

“There must have been thorough vetting (before I was appointed). I’m grateful that Anwar cleared the air,” he told the New Straits Times today.

Nazri, who was former tourism, arts and culture minister, added that Anwar’s statement also cleared issues concerning nepotism, cronyism and favouritism.

He said nepotism was not a factor to his appointment as he and Anwar were not related.

“He is from Bukit Mertajam, Penang, and my family is from Hulu Perak.

“Cronyism? No way. Anwar has only been in power for less than four months. Certainly, I cannot get many projects.

“And although I have been close to Anwar, and have always supported him when he was Umno, I don’t think he played the favouritism card.”

Nazri said after Umno lost the Nov 19 election, he made an appointment to meet Anwar on Dec 22.

He said he had told Anwar not to continue with his appointment if it would cause him difficulties.

“I said if it would be difficult (for the majority) to accept, I will be okay (if the appointment did not go through).

“This is not a reward. This is a heavy responsibility.

“I’m grateful to him for clearing the air. It’s no issue.”

Anwar had yesterday denied that his administration was behind Nazri’s appointment as Malaysia’s next envoy to the US.

He had explained that Nazri’s appointment was made close to a year ago and the US took about six months to confirm the former Padang Rengas member of parliament’s appointment before he became prime minister last November.

Meanwhile, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Nazri’s appointment was made on the recommendation of former prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.


He said Nazri was the right person for the job as he could help strengthen diplomatic ties between both countries and help connect Anwar with the top leaders in the US government and corporate sector.