KUALA LUMPUR: Najib Razak says he is willing to have a freestyle “anything goes” debate with his most fervent critic, Lim Kit Siang, after the DAP supremo resurfaced with a recent string of public attacks.
In an interview with FMT at his office here, the former prime minister said: “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.”
Najib has often said that Lim is “obsessed” with him, but “I am willing to debate with him on issues so that we can highlight our stand on these issues and allow the people to judge for themselves”.
Najib also said Lim had quietened down after he was called “Minister of Najib Affairs”.
In his latest attack on Najib, the veteran DAP politician claimed that Najib’s “Malu Apa Bossku” slogan was against the Rukunegara as it tried to block reforms by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
“In actual fact, the ‘Malu Apa Bossku’ campaign violates the fifth principle of Rukunegara and ‘Morality and Good Behaviour’, a challenge to the National Anti-Corruption Plan 2019-2023 and obstacle to the national mission to transform Malaysia from a global kleptocracy into a leading nation of integrity,” Lim had said.
However, Najib said “Malu Apa Bossku” was not a campaign as it is commonly portrayed but a natural response from the youth.
“They came up with the catchphrase, they made their own T-shirt designs and graphics. It is is something which comes from their hearts,” the former leader said.
He said the catchphrase “will live so long as the youth like it”.
“When they no longer do, it will cease to exist. But thankfully, the response so far has exceeded expectations.
“However, I must stress that when people say ‘Bossku’, it is not me that is the boss but the people. The people are the boss.”
On when he would debate with Lim, Najib said he was prepared anytime.
But he hoped Lim would understand that his schedule was constrained by his ongoing court cases.
“The PH 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 said he was certain that Lim could make time for a debate as he does not hold any Cabinet position.
“If he is free enough to write multiple statements every day, he should certainly be free to debate.”