Najib says he has more time now to debate with Dr M

Najib Razak (right) and Dr Mahathir Mohamad fell out in 2015 in the wake of the revelations on the 1MDB scandal. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak said he now has more free time to take on his political opponents, including Dr Mahathir Mohamad with whom he was twice invited to debate.

Najib, who told FMT in an interview that he was ready to debate with DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang, said he had not attended the “Nothing2Hide” forum in 2015 due to his busy schedule as prime minister then.

“I understand that a PM’s job can be hectic, but if the seventh PM feels he has the time and wants to debate me, I will accept the challenge,” he said on his Facebook page.

A second “Nothing2Hide” forum was arranged in 2017.

Najib said Mahathir was still an Umno member in 2015 and it would be odd for members of the same party to debate with each other.

Najib said he had never rejected the idea of debating with his opponents, after critics cited a news report which quoted him as saying that debating was not part of Malaysian culture.

“If you read carefully, I had also said that holding a debate would depend on the situation. I never rejected the idea of a debate.

“What is important is for us to be well informed in order to make a choice,” he said.

Speaking to FMT in an interview, Najib said he was willing to have a freestyle “anything goes” debate with Lim, who has launched a string of public attacks against the former leader.