KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 — Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said today he does not see any wrong in his son’s alleged use of a car belonging to Michael Chia, pointing out that Nedim’s relationship with the Sabah timber trader has no connection to his integrity as a Cabinet minister.
He told reporters that he does not police Nedim’s every movement as the latter is an adult, adding that if his son was indeed using Chia’s car, it was a personal arrangement between him and Chia.
“I don’t sleep with my son. I am not gay (homosexual). My son is not my wife, my son is not my lover. What he does, he doesn’t tell me.
“That is between my son and Michael Chia. If he (Chia) wants to give [Nedim] a Hummer or a Ferarri, it is Michael Chia’s business... its not like he (Chia) is giving it to me... and I am the minister, not my son,” Nazri told reporters when approached in Parliament today.
“What has he committed, tell me? He is not a minister. Where is the conflict of interest? He is my son,” he added later, when asked if he felt that Nedim had committed an offence by using Chia’s car.
When pushed to reveal if the Hummer that Nedim uses truly belongs to Chia, Nazri waved off the question.
He told reporters that there was no need to do so, pointing out that during Rafizi’s expose today, the PKR leader had distributed many photographs to proof his claim.
“Go ask my son. I cannot be responsible for him... I don’t sleep with him... he sleeps with his wife, he has a kid.
“Whatever he does, I don’t know. I know Michael Chia... but what is wrong with that?” he asked.
Nazri was responding to PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli who had earlier accused him of conflict of interest for allegedly defending Chia when his son, Nedim, has been using a luxury vehicle registered to Chia’s name.
Nazri had recently told Parliament that Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman had been cleared of corruption allegations after anti-graft authorities in Malaysia and Hong Kong found that the RM40 million “political donation” that Chia was accused of attempting to smuggle to Malaysia in 2008 was not for Musa’s personal use but for Sabah Umno’s.
In the ensuing debate, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers chided Nazri for declaring Musa innocent without providing proof that Hong Kong’s anti-graft agency, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), had cleared the chief minister of its own accord.
According to Nazri, the ICAC had closed the case after the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) discovered in its probe that the money in Chia’s possession was meant for Sabah Umno and not Musa.
The minister invited Rafizi to lodge a report against him to the police or the MACC “if I have done any offence”.
“Why should it be a problem? It is between him (Nedim) and Michael,” Nazri said, when reporters asked if Nedim’s use of Chia’s RM500,000 Hummer should be viewed as a problem, particularly due to his status as a Cabinet minister.
Instead, the Padang Rengas MP told reporters to pose the same question to Chia.
“Ask him if its a problem,” he said, smiling.
The minister repeatedly dismissed the matter as trivial, even teasing reporters when they pressed on with their queries by asking, “Why are you so worried?”.
Insisting that the allegation has not shaken him in the slightest bit, Nazri pointed out that a search for his name on Wikipedia would return plenty of other allegations.
“But I am still minister today, my friend. This is not going to hurt me one bit. I don’t think I am going to be affected by gutter politics,” he said.
But Nazri said he has no plans to sue Rafizi for the allegation, cite him for defamation or lodge a report against him for snooping on his family members, saying the PKR leader was not worth the effort.
“I am a rich man, I am powerful, good-looking, wealthy... So what can I do? My son has also asked me - Pa, is it...? (I tell him) Look, you are my son.
“It doesn’t bother me, I am popular... you know, I have film star status here. A celebrity... not a local one but Hollywood level... there is nothing I can do if they want to follow me,” he said.