Do you have a problem, Najib asks Kit Siang in latest tit-for-tat

Former prime minister Najib Razak and DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang seen at an Aidilfitri event in 2009. The two have been locked in a war of words culminating in a short-lived agreement to a debate last week. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The war of words between Najib Razak and Lim Kit Siang continued today, a week after the latter’s cancellation of a debate between them.

The former prime minister expressed surprise after Lim recalled several incidents in the past where he said Najib had avoided engaging with his critics.

“This man, does he have a problem?” asked Najib in a Facebook post.

“He was the one who gave the topic for the debate. He was the one who asked me if I would agree to the topic.

“He was the one who withdrew from it two days later, giving a racist excuse about a Chinese versus Malay conflict.

“He was the one who wrote at length on why he withdrew from the debate.”

Last week, Najib in an interview with FMT said he was open to the idea of a debate with Lim.

Lim later said he would be prepared to debate with Najib if the topic was about kleptocracy, to which Najib agreed. But Lim withdrew from the debate the next day, saying he had been flooded by calls from supporters not to debate with Najib, and citing fears that the debate could take a “Malay vs Chinese” narrative.

Lim today took potshots at Najib again, after the latter said he had lost all credibility by rejecting the debate challenge.

“By Najib’s logic, Najib would not even have the right to open his mouth to utter a single word as he more than ‘lost all credibility’ running away from two ‘Nothing-to-Hide’ confrontations with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the 1MDB scandal, disgraced himself internationally when he chickened out of delivering a keynote opening address for the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Putrajaya… and the infamous walkout of the Al Jazeera interview in October last year with interviewer Mary Ann Jolley,” Lim said in a statement.