PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - It is not a new political party being planned, just the idea of setting up a non-governmental organisation (NGO), says Datuk Seri Nazir Razak.
"I refer to recent news reports that I am setting up a new political party. This is not true," said the CIMB Group chairman in a statement on Wednesday.
Mr Nazir, who is also the brother of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, said that he had been growing "increasingly concerned" about the Malaysian sociopolitical environment and its impact on the economy.
"In this context, I have had conversations with like-minded friends, including Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, about the need to better enable moderate Malaysians to voice their views, concerns and suggestions," said Mr Nazir.
"We have discussed setting up an NGO, but it remains just an idea at this moment," he said.
A news report said Mr Nazir was starting a new non-partisan party to reach out to all races emerged on Tuesday.
It said that Mr Nazir has been meeting with business leaders in Britain and Kuala Lumpur to discuss the starting of a new non-partisan party to reach out to all races.
The report also said that Mr Nazir approached Global Movement of Moderates chief Saifuddin Abdullah to become the public face of the party.
It also said that despite being respected as a moderate, Datuk Saifuddin lacked the clout needed to attract support and Mr Nazir had to be the prime mover or it would not work.
The report came amid strained relations in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, with a widening rift between Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) and the Democratic Action Party (DAP).
On Tuesday, the DAP said that the coalition had ceased to exist, saying the motion by the PAS muktamar to sever ties with the DAP had effectively ended the coalition.