Writing from his hospital bed, ex-premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad has challenged his former protege Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to a televised debate about governance in Malaysia, following the latter’s remarks accusing him of trying to boss the PM around.
“I am old now. But Allah be praised, I am not senile. I would gladly accept an open debate with Najib with live audience and on live telecast. The debate should be on governing a country.
“I may lose. Cash may win. It is for Malaysians to evaluate, not TV3 or the NST or my own known supporters,” said Mahathir in a blog post tonight.
Mahathir is likely responding to Najib’s quip during an interview with Indonesian media that forced to chose between the interest of the nation and the ex-pm’s bossiness, he chose the nation’s interest.
“Najib tells his tame audience that I want him to do things my way only. Maybe so though I don’t think it is true.
“But if he wants to do things his way, it should at least to be something good for the country. Promoting corruption is certainly not good for the country or for anyone,” sniped the doctor.
Mahathir reasoned that it is not good for a PM to have RM2.6 billion in his private account no matter what the explanation is, what more when the reason given is less than believable.
“No prime minister of Malaysia should have that amount of ringgit in his private account. And the explanation he gives as to the source of the billions is quite ridiculous,” he said.
Mahathir concluded his post by thanking all the well wishers for their get-well-quick messages, replying that while the messages help, applying to join his new party Bersatu would be even better.
On Aug 5 Najib took to Indonesian media to explain his fallout with former premier and mentor Dr Mahathir.
Speaking to MetroTV in an interview, Najib related that Mahathir was “obsessed about control” and was trying to call the shots even though he was no longer the prime minister.
“I only had two choices as prime minister. First, that I become a prime minister who refers to him and get his ‘advice’.
“I say advice but it’s probably instructions to do what he wants in terms of the administration of the country.
“Or, I become a prime minister who believes in my own leadership, judgment and the mandate given to me by the country and my party, and do what I think is best for the country,” he told the interviewer, answering that he chose the latter.
Previously Mahathir’s staunch ally former Batu Kawan division vice-chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan had challenged Najib to a debate on 1MDB. – Malaysiakini