PETALING JAYA: Saying he is disappointed that his invitation to Lim Kit Siang for a debate was turned down by the DAP leader, Najib Razak has outlined several questions he would have asked had the debate materialised.
The former prime minister listed 1MDB’s debt and the now-dropped corruption case of Lim Guan Eng as among topics he would have raised in the debate.
“Why does Kit Siang consider himself to be a person with integrity but doesn’t feel wrong when his son’s corruption case was dropped, to the point that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had expressed shock?” said Najib.
Guan Eng was charged with using his position as the Penang chief minister to obtain gratification for himself and his wife by approving a company’s application to convert the status of a plot of land.
Prosecutors had linked the decision to his purchase of a bungalow for RM2.8 million. The charge was dropped by the Attorney-General’s Chambers last year.
Najib also said he would have raised the issue of the East Coast Rail Link’s cost, and made comparison between Bank Negara Malaysia’s forex losses during Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s previous administration and the debt accumulated by 1MDB.
“But 1MDB’s RM31 billion loan, on the other hand, can bankrupt the country, even though 1MDB has a settlement agreement, has assets worth RM140 billion and RM40 billion that is now deemed by PH as the country’s best assets,” he said on Facebook.
Other questions on Najib’s mind were on Guan Eng’s claim of a decrease in the country’s debt, which Najib said had actually spiked by about RM100 billion in the last two years.
Najib also hit out at Kit Siang for citing fears of a racial conflict as the reason for backing down from the debate.
“Why does DAP always play up the issue of race? Is this a confession on Kit Siang’s part that DAP is a Chinese party?” he asked.
“This is a debate between two parliamentarians,” Najib said. “Nothing to do with race.”
Kit Siang had initially agreed to debate with Najib on condition that the theme was centred on “kleptocracy”.
But two days later, he cited an “avalanche of advice” from members of the public who asked him not to accept Najib’s debate dare.
He said he was aware that he would be labelled a “coward” over the decision.
In his response today, Najib said he would not brand Kit Siang a coward, but added that the Iskandar Puteri MP was a “serial liar and a dishonest individual”.