Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz

Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz (Jawi: محمد نظري بن عبدالعزيز; born 15 May 1954) is a Malaysian politician who served as the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of legal affairs, Minister of Entrepreneur Development, Deputy Minister of Finance I, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Padang Rengas from March 2004 to November 2022.[1]

Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz
محمد نظري عبدالعزيز
Minister of Tourism and Culture
In office
16 May 2013  9 May 2018
MonarchsAbdul Halim
Muhammad V
Prime MinisterNajib Razak
DeputyMas Ermieyati Samsudin (2015–2018)
Preceded byNg Yen Yen (Tourism)
Rais Yatim (Culture)
Succeeded byMohammadin Ketapi as Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture
ConstituencyPadang Rengas
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
Legal Affairs
In office
27 March 2004  15 May 2013
Serving with Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad (2004–2006)
Zaid Ibrahim (2008)
Mizan Zainal Abidin
Abdul Halim
Prime MinisterAbdullah Ahmad Badawi
Najib Razak
DeputyM. Kayveas (2004–2008)
Hasan Malek (2008–2009)
Liew Vui Keong (2009–2013)
Murugiah Thopasamy (2009–2011)
Preceded byRais Yatim
Succeeded byNancy Shukri
Shahidan Kassim
ConstituencyPadang Rengas
Minister of Entrepreneur Development
In office
15 December 1999  26 March 2004
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
DeputyMohd Khalid Mohd Yunos (2002–2004)
Preceded byMustapa Mohamed
Succeeded byMohamed Khaled Nordin as Minister of Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development
Deputy Minister of Finance I
In office
12 November 1996  14 December 1999
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
MinisterAnwar Ibrahim (1996–1998)
Mahathir Mohamad (1998–1999)
Mustapa Mohamed (1998–1999)
Daim Zainuddin (1999)
Preceded byAffifudin Omar
Succeeded byShafie Salleh
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
In office
8 May 1995  12 November 1996
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
MinisterAbang Abu Bakar Abang Mustapha
Preceded bySuleiman Mohamed
Wong See Wah
Succeeded byIbrahim Ali
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Padang Rengas
In office
21 March 2004  19 November 2022
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byAzahari Hasan (PN-BERSATU)
Majority5,563 (2004)
1,749 (2008)
2,230 (2013)
2,548 (2018)
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Chenderoh
In office
25 April 1995  21 March 2004
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Majority11,793 (1995)
3,990 (1999)
Faction represented in Dewan Rakyat
1995–2022Barisan Nasional
Personal details
Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz

(1954-05-15) 15 May 1954
Kuala Kangsar, Perak, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Political partyUnited Malays National Organisation (UMNO)
Other political
Barisan Nasional (BN)
Perikatan Nasional (PN) (2020-January 2021)
(July 2021-2022)
Muafakat Nasional
Alma materMalay College Kuala Kangsar
Lincoln's Inn
Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz on Parliament of Malaysia


He has an educational background in law and is qualified as a barrister of Lincoln's Inn. He is married to Haflin Saiful Azhar and has a daughter and three sons named Ferasha Mohamed Nazri, Mohamed Ferhad Mohamed Nazri, Mohamed Nedim Mohamed Nazri and Jean Pierre Azize Mohamed Nazri.

Political career

At the grassroots level, Nazri was elected Exco of the Malaysian UMNO Youth Movement in 1978. He was later appointed as UMNO Youth Vice Chief in 1993 before acting as UMNO Youth Chief from the following year until 1996.

He was also appointed as the Chairman of the International Affairs Bureau of the Malaysian UMNO Youth Movement from 1986 to 1996 and the Chairman of the Barisan Nasional Malaysia Youth from 1990 to 1994. In addition, he was also appointed as a Member of the UMNO Supreme Council from 1990 to 2018.

He was appointed chairman of MARA from 17 March 1993 to 23 July 1995, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department from 1995 to 1999 and Deputy Minister of Finance II since 1999 until the dissolution of the Cabinet ahead of the general election in December 1999. He was later appointed Minister of Entrepreneur Development until 2004.

His experience as a Member of Parliament began after winning the Chenderoh parliamentary seat on the Barisan Nasional ticket in the 1995 Malaysian general election which he later successfully defended in the next term, (1999-2004). In addition, he was appointed Senator of the Senate from 1991 to 1995.

In the 2004 Malaysian general election, he moved to the Padang Rengas parliamentary seat as a result of the demarcation by the Election Commission of Malaysia (EC). He managed to win it after defeating the PKR candidate, Mohd Zolkafli bin Yahaya. He managed to retain the seat in 2008, 2013 and 2018 general elections.

Nazri was originally the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of legal affairs and judicial reform since 2004. After the 2008 general election, which saw the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition's majority in Parliament significantly reduced, the then Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi reshuffled his cabinet and gave Nazri's legal affairs portfolio to Zaid Ibrahim but only lasted for 6 months when Zaid resigned in September 2008. He was the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of law and parliamentary affairs as of 2008.[2]

Controversies and criticism

Racism allegation

In June 2005, Nazri caused controversy when he shouted the phrase "racist" (or variants of it) 28 times in Parliament against the Member of the Opposition, M. Kulasegaran. A request by opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) lawmaker Fong Po Kuan for Nazri to take back his comments went unheeded. The incident occurred during a debate on the Malaysian Medical Council's derecognition of Crimea State Medical University (CSMU) medical degrees; most Malaysian students sent to study there were of Indian extraction. Nazri has since used the phrase "bloody racist" on Tun Dr. Mahathir because the latter supports a controversial government programme that allegedly indoctrinates racist sentiments in civil servants and public university students.[3]

Statement over the 1988 Judicial crisis

Opposition Member of Parliament Karpal Singh said Nazri had misled Parliament when he said judges involved in the 1988 Judicial crisis were not sacked but were asked to take early retirement.[4] Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad also refuted Nazri's suggestion saying Tun Salleh Abas and two of the five other judges involved in the 1988 judicial crisis had not been dismissed but were asked to retire early. He said Salleh Abas was sacked as Lord President but obtained a pension on grounds of compassion.[5]

Defender of high-profile politician

In 2006, he been called the hatchetman of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, then Prime Minister of Malaysia, by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, for defending Abdullah in Mahathir's ongoing criticisms against the government.[6]

In 2009, photos surfaced of a woman and a man rumoured to be Nazri in a compromising position but several politicians who were close to him said the man in the pictures is not him.[7]

In September 2010, he came out openly in the defence of Prime Minister Najib's 1Malaysia policy, saying that he is a Malaysian first and a Malay next. This is in complete opposition to that expressed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, who has time and again reiterated that he is Malay first and Malaysian second.[6]

High tourism tax fee plans

In 2016, he was criticised for his decision of threatening to stop tourism funding from his ministry to Sabah and Sarawak if both the states did not implement a proposed tourism service tax fee of between RM5 and RM30 on each hotel room booking.[8] In response to his statement, the Sabah State Tourism, Environment and Culture Assistant Minister Pang Nyuk Ming stated:

It is the "duty and responsibility" of the Federal Government to assist Sabah in all areas. To threaten to stop tourism funding from his ministry to Sabah if we do not implement his proposal is truly uncalled for and against the fundamentals of the federal government. If the minister (Nazri) dares to carry out his threat on Sabah, the state (Sabah) must then call on the federal government to surrender all its allocation for the state directly to the Sabah Treasury so that the state can decide on its usage in accordance to its own priority.[9][10]

Following criticism over his tourism tax fee plan by Sarawak State Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Nazri responded by chiding the minister by calling him a “greenhorn” and “behaving like a gangster”.[11] His response received backlash from other government-allied parties who perceived his words as being “too rude” and “far from being constructive”.[12][13] Abdul Rahman Dahlan was attacked with similar words after Nazri perceived him as being defensive towards Karim.[14] As a result of his comment, the Sarawak state government made a decision to withdraw their participation from Tourism Malaysia.[15] Nazri continued with his stance and said he did not regret the Sarawak decision while stressing that he did not intend to punish Sarawak and would be fair towards the state.[16] According to Nazri, he was forced to make the remarks against the Sarawak minister after being accused of eroding and not respecting the Sarawak state rights.[17] Nazri also questioned the Sarawak state government for not expressing their objections several months earlier in Parliament and the Cabinet,[18] to which the DAP also claimed they had been opposing the bill alone at the time without the support from any of the Sabah and Sarawak government-allied politicians.[19]

However, according to Sabah State Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister, Masidi Manjun, both states had indeed objected the proposed tax in the previous year before its tabling in the Parliament, whereas the federal government continued to enact the Tourism Tax Act 2017 to impose a levy on all tourists.[20] Nevertheless, as stated by Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen: once a bill is tabled in Parliament without any opposition from the members of parliament (MPs) of the government-allied parties during the session, the bill is sure to be approved because of the sheer number of the ruling government MPs in Parliament. He further blamed the six Sarawak MPs who were Federal Ministers (see Cabinet of Malaysia) for failing to oppose the tourism tax proposal during its tabling in the previous parliamentary session.[21] In response to the ongoing criticism, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar explained to the media that in the spirit of collective responsibility practised in Commonwealth countries, Sarawakian parliamentarians who are cabinet members cannot object to the ruling government coalition's decision in the Parliament and telling the media to ask any MPs who do not have any ministerial posts to find the answer.[22] Prior to this, Lubok Antu MP William Nyallau Badak was contacted by the media and he said not all Sarawak and Sabah MPs supported the proposed Tourism Tax. In his statement:

We were briefed about the bill before that and some of Sarawakian MPs agreed to it because Nazri said it would benefit Sarawak as the tax collected will be divided into three portions for the three regions of Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia.[22]

The Sarawak MP however felt that the federal government should have consulted and sought approval from their state Chief Minister Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari Abang Openg first before announcing its implementation which would impact Sarawak's tourism industry.[22] On 14 June, Nazri said his spat with Karim and three federal ministers from East Malaysia had come to an end under the “Barisan Nasional (BN) spirit”, adding that it was unnecessary for him to withdraw his previous remarks or apologise to Karim and that the tourism tax would come into effect from 1 July 2017,[23] which later deferred to 1 August.[24]

Turn floods into Kelantan tourist attractions

On 16 February 2018, Nazri said Kelantan is filled with possible tourist attractions that the state have failed to capitalise on to enrich the Kelantanese. He said even the floods which ravage the state every monsoon season can be turned into a tourism opportunity.[25]

In Kuala Krai for example, the flood is like a festival. Every monsoon, we have a flood festival, and people will come.[25]

Racial views

On 24 February 2019, in his campaign speech, he questioned the appointment of non-Muslims to the posts of Attorney General, Chief Justice and Finance Minister, seeing it as a threat to Malay special rights. He also warned non-bumiputeras not to question Malay special rights, using vernacular schools as an example of the special rights given to non-Malays.[26]

I want to tell them (non-bumis) if they fight for Malay privilege to be abolished, then I want to ask for the Chinese schools and Tamil schools to be abolished.

Only then it is fair. There is no way only one race sacrifices; every race has to sacrifice.

On 25 February, Nazri denied that he had called for vernacular school to be closed nationwide. He said remarks in the matter made during his ceramah during the Semenyih by-election campaign made at Beranang was purposely taken out of context to confuse people and the voters in Semenyih.[27][28]

2020–2021 Malaysian political crisis

Nazri is a member and Division Chairman of Padang Rengas of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), a component party of the ruling BN coalition which is aligned with another ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition. However, on 12 January 2021, he publicly and personally announced his withdrawal of support and he was no longer aligned with PN as an MP although his coalition is, resulting in collapse of the PN administration led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin after PN lost the majority support by commanding the support of only 109 out of 220 MPs (at least 111) in the Dewan Rakyat, Parliament. His withdrawal of support was the third one from his coalition after the withdrawals of support of Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (Gua Musang MP) and Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub (Machang MP). But in July 2021, he publicly said he supported back the Perikatan Nasional government that led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.[29]


In January 2021, Nazri was tested positive for COVID-19 and warded at the Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab in Kota Baru.[30]

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia[31][32][33][34][35][36]
Year Constituency Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1995 Chenderoh Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (UMNO) 16,983 73% Saidin Mat Piah (S46) 5,190 22% 23,141 11,793 67.31%
1999 Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (UMNO) 13,374 57% Hamzah Mohd Zain (PKR) 9,384 40% 23,397 3,990 64.77%
2004 Padang Rengas Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (UMNO) 9,214 66% Mohd Zolkafly Yahaya (PKR) 4,442 32% 18,132 5,563 72.93%
2008 Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (UMNO) 9,830 54% Alias Zenon (PKR) 8,081 44% 18,350 1,749 75.21%
2013 Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (UMNO) 13,005 55% Meor Ahmad Isharra Ishak (PKR) 10,775 45% 24,230 2,230 84.96%
2018 Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (UMNO) 10,491 41.50% Ejazi Yahaya (PKR) 7,943 31.42% 25,698 2,548 82.91%
Mohd Azalan Mohd Radzi (PAS) 6,847 27.08%
Ahmad Affandi Fairuz (KITA) 1,380 16.07%


  •  Kelantan :
    • Knight Commander of the Order of the Life of the Crown of Kelantan (DJMK) - Dato' (2011)[37][38]
  •  Malacca :
    • Companion Class I of the Order of Malacca (DMSM) - Datuk (1993)[37]
  •  Pahang :
    • Grand Knight of the Order of Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang (SSAP) - Dato' Sri (2008)[37][39]
  •  Perak :
    • Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Perak State Crown (SPMP) - Dato' Seri (2000)[37]


  1. "Mohamed Nazri bin Tan Sri Abdul Aziz, Y.B. Dato' Seri" (in Malay). Parliament of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 25 December 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
  2. Manjit Kaur (5 December 2005). "Kok did not break law by showing clip, says Nazri". The Star. Archived from the original on 14 March 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  3. Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani (7 December 2009). "Nazri calls Dr. M a racist for defending BTN". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 12 December 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  4. "Karpal: Nazri misled Parliament". Bernama. Malaysia Today. 8 November 2008. Retrieved 8 November 2008.
  5. "Salleh was sacked, says Dr M". New Straits Times. 9 November 2008. Archived from the original on 12 November 2008. Retrieved 9 November 2008.
  6. Aidil Syukri (13 April 2011). "Nazri Aziz: Brutally Honest or Downright Arrogant?". Malaysian Digest. Archived from the original on 13 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. "Man in photo with woman 'not Nazri'". The Star. 14 March 2009. Archived from the original on 16 March 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
  8. "New daily hotel fee plan but Sabah can opt out". Daily Express. 4 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  9. Muguntan Vanar (5 September 2016). "Government's responsibility to provide funding to promote Sabah tourism". The Star. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  10. "Pang slams 'idiotic' threat to withhold tourism allocation". The Borneo Post. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  11. "Abdul Karim kesal digelar `setahun jagung' oleh Nazri" (in Malay). Utusan Malaysia. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  12. Jonathan Chia (12 June 2017). "Nazri's statement on Abd Karim rude – Fadillah". The Borneo Post. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  13. Shafizan Johari (12 June 2017). "Anifah Aman nasihat Nazri elak guris hati rakyat Sarawak, Sabah" (in Malay). Astro Awani. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  14. "Rahman, Anifah join in". Daily Express. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  15. "State govt withdrawing participation of representative in Tourism Malaysia". The Borneo Post. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  16. Arief Subhan (12 June 2017). "Saya tidak kesal dengan tindakan Sarawak - Nazri" (in Malay). Astro Awani. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  17. Churchill Edward (13 June 2017). "Nazri says his outburst a response to accusation of him eroding, not respecting Sarawak's rights". The Borneo Post. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  18. Kamles Kumar (12 June 2017). "Nazri: Why didn't Sarawak MPs object to new tourism tax in Parliament, Cabinet?". The Malay Mail. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  19. "DAP queries why only it opposed Bill but not single Sabah, S'wak Minister". Daily Express. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  20. Avila Geraldine (14 June 2017). "Sabah, Sarawak had objected to Tourism Tax move last year, says Masidi". New Straits Times. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  21. Jonathan Chia (13 June 2017). "BN Sarawak federal ministers must apologise to Sarawakians for Tourism Tax – Chong". The Borneo Post. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  22. "Wan Junaidi admits Sarawak members of parliament have to support government bills". The Borneo Post. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  23. "Problem resolved: Nazri". My Sinchew. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  24. "Tourism Tax is deferred". Daily Express. 28 June 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  25. Ghazali, N. Faizal (17 February 2018). "Nazri: Turn floods, graves and monkeys into K'tan tourist attractions". Malaysiakini.
  26. Chie, Kow Gah (24 February 2019). "Nazri reaches for racial playbook in Semenyih". Malaysiakini.
  27. Perimbanayagam, Kalbana (25 February 2019). "Vernacular school issue taken out of context: Nazri". NST Online.
  28. Lee, Annabelle (25 February 2019). "Nazri claims media misquoted him on call to close vernacular schools". Malaysiakini.
  29. "Nazri does a u-turn supports PM". Free Malaysia Today.
  30. "Umno MP Nazri Aziz warded for Covid-19 at KB hospital". Malay Mail. 19 January 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  31. "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri". Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 14 June 2010. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  32. "Malaysia General Election". undiinfo Malaysian Election Data. Malaysiakini. Retrieved 12 March 2017. Results only available from the 2004 election.
  33. "Malaysia Decides 2008". The Star (Malaysia). Retrieved 2 January 2010.
  34. "KEPUTUSAN PILIHAN RAYA UMUM 13". Sistem Pengurusan Maklumat Pilihan Raya Umum. Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  35. "SEMAKAN KEPUTUSAN PILIHAN RAYA UMUM KE - 14" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 17 May 2018. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  36. "The Star Online GE14". The Star. Retrieved 24 May 2018. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  37. "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat". Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia).
  38. "Armed Forces chief leads Kelantan honours list". The Star. 12 November 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  39. "David Arumugam, Khadijah Ibrahim now Datuks". Bernama. The Star. 12 February 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
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