KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 — The proposed debate between Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli and PAS’ Bachok MP Mohd Syahir Sulaiman will go ahead on August 9 and will be televised live.

Broadcaster Astro Awani who will host the debate said the event is finally on after the PAS assistant secretary-general agreed to the invite without any condition after receiving permission from the Islamist party’s leadership.

“Hence the selection of date, moderator, format, and media, I leave it to Rafizi to decide. The selection of the title I suggest is ‘Malaysia Lebih Baik’,” Awani reported citing Syahir’s email on the matter. “Malaysia Lebih Baik” is Malay for “A Better Malaysia”.

Meanwhile, Rafizi’s senior private secretary Mohd Rashidi Ruslan, in his reply to Mohd Syahir’s email said that Rafizi has expressed his thanks for accepting the debate invitation.


“Hence, this administration proposes Astro Awani be appointed as a neutral party to organise the debate. This administration proposes that the date of the debate be held on August, 9 (Wednesday) or a day before the state election polling day, which will take place on August 12.

“Discussions regarding the date and format of the debate will be done by Astro Awani and mutually agreed upon by both parties,” he was quoted as saying.

Mohd Rashidi said that Rafizi hopes the debate will be held successfully in celebrating differences of opinion and ideas and can be used as a vehicle in cultivating the maturity of democracy in this country.


Yesterday, Rafizi took a swipe at Perikatan Nasional (PN) leaders for refusing to take part in a debate for the people to properly evaluate their plans for the nation’s economy.

In challenging PN to a debate with him, Rafizi sarcastically asked if other contenders from PN are willing to debate after both former Selangor menteri besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and caretaker Kedah menteri besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor rejected his offer.

Apart from Azmin and Sanusi, Rafizi had also said Syahir — who is also PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang’s political secretary — was the latest to reject his invite.