Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak has challenged his number one critic Lim Kit Siang to a “freestyle” debate.
In an interview with Free Malaysia Today (FMT) published today, Najib said he was certain that the DAP adviser had time for it as the latter did not hold any cabinet posts and was “free enough to write multiple statements every day”.
“I answered Lim every time he made a statement, to the point of giving him the title of ‘Minister of Najib Affairs’ in one posting.
“So I think it is better to debate with Lim,” he told the news portal.
Elaborating, Najib said he was prepared to debate “anything” as long as his schedule allowed him to.
The former premier is on trial for allegedly abusing his power in receiving RM42 million in gratification for securing government guarantees for an RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) to SRC International, a former 1MDB subsidiary.
“The Pakatan Harapan government does not want me to be too free. But I will make time for Lim if he is willing to debate.
“It can be a freestyle debate, so to speak.
“He can ask me anything, even 1MDB. And I can ask him anything. In the spirit of a healthy democracy, he should take up the challenge,” he was quoted as saying.
Malaysiakini has contacted Lim for comment.
Last July, the DAP veteran had similarly challenged Najib to a public forum after the former premier accused him of linking kleptocracy to Islam.
During the interview with FMT, Najib also commented on the catchphrase “Malu Apa Bossku” which he has now become known for, saying it was less of a campaign, but more of an organic youth movement.
“They (the youth) came up with the catchphrase, they made their own T-shirt designs and graphics. It is something which comes from their hearts,” Najib said, adding that the catchphrase would live on 'so long as the youth like it'.
“When they no longer do (like it), it will cease to exist. Thankfully, the response so far has exceeded expectations.
“However, I must stress that when people say ‘Bossku’, it is not me who is the boss, but the people. The people are the boss,” Najib said.