KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today claimed that DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang can no longer launch verbal attacks against him after the latter decided to turn down a debate.
Najib said he had many questions to ask Lim in the initial proposed debate, but claimed the latter was avoiding the debate.
While saying he would not call Lim a coward, Najib accused the latter of being dishonest.
“After Kit Siang runs away like this, he no longer has the right to issue any statements to attack me,” the former prime minister wrote on his official Facebook page today.
Najib’s remarks are the latest in his series of Facebook posts where he trolled the DAP advisor for backing out from the debate that the duo previously agreed on.
Najib had suggested that the debate take place after Aidilfitri next month and be broadcast “live”, while Lim had said the debate should carry the title “How Malaysia became a global kleptocracy and how we can become a leading nation of integrity”.
Yesterday, Lim announced that he was withdrawing from debating Najib publicly after receiving advice from many including Malay bloggers and academics that the former Barisan Nasional chief would most certainly use the opportunity to play up racial sentiments.
Lim said there was a great likelihood that the kleptocracy-themed debate could be framed as a conflict between the Malays and Chinese, noting that this is despite the fact that “the battle against corruption, abuses of power and criminal conduct like money-laundering is not a racial or religious issue but an issue of good values and good governance”.
Najib said he was disappointed with Lim’s alleged avoidance of the debate to avoid racial sentiments being played up, insisting that the debate was between two MPs and do not involve racial issues.
Najib claimed that Lim would not be able to respond to the points that he wanted to raise in the debates, listing out several issues such as the alleged return of funds involving a RM2.6 billion sum in Najib’s accounts, and alleged payments from Saudi Arabia’s Finance Ministry to Najib.
Najib, who is currently on trial for seven charges involving RM42 million of 1MDB former unit SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds, said these two points had been raised in court.
Najib said he had also wanted to ask about other issues such as regarding a settlement deal between 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), comparisons between the 1MDB scandal and a foreign exchange scandal, the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project cost and national debt levels.