KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — Umno politician Isham Jalil today invited former two-time prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to an open discourse on Malaysia’s future.

The Selangor Umno information chief said he represents a younger generation that sees the world very differently from those in the Langkawi MP’s era, adding that he would like to converse with the veteran lawmaker directly instead of doing so through social media.

“With all respect, I would like to invite Tun to a discourse at his leisure.

“Not to debate or for political purposes, but to converse openly on the country’s policies and direction in a scientific and civil manner,” Isham said on his Facebook account.

He said they could discuss the weakening ringgit, the economy, the rule of law, Malaysia’s future as well as trade views on what they each think is the best solution to resolve the country’s problems.

“Tun has much more experience than I do and Tun has held senior positions and led the country while I am only a regular person, but I represent the younger generation who face new world challenges different from Tun’s generation.

“Because Tun and I often hold differing views and only make comments on Facebook, it might be better for us to exchange our opinions openly face-to-face,” Isham said.

Dr Mahathir, 96, has yet to respond to Isham’s invitation at the time of writing.

Malaysian politicians are not in the habit of engaging their rivals in an open debate though Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim bucked that trend when he took on former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak live on air last Thursday.

Both Anwar and Najib were supposed to debate troubled Bumiputera oil-and-gas company Sapura Energy, but their exchanges went beyond that.