Nazri tells Umno, BN supporters to not attend his debate with Tun M

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz said he doesn’t need the support of Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno during his debate with former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby, Nazri said it is even “better” if no Umno representatives were present as he “alone” could handle the debate, which is set to take place at his constituency in Padang Rengas.

“I want to ask Umno and BN supporters, there is no need to come,” Nazri said.

Nazri added he does not agree for the debate to be telecast live, as Mahathir was not the leader of the country’s opposition.

“I feel Dr Mahathir does not have the standing. He is not the opposition head,” he said.

“I am also not the head of government. So I feel the debate is between (ordinary) individuals,” he said.

Nazri said the debate was not about winning or losing, but answering questions raised through dialogue.

“This is not a children’s debate, this is a serious debate,” he said.

“So ask the questions and have them answered,” he said.

The highly anticipated debate is scheduled to be held at MRSM Kuala Kangsar in Perak, on Saturday.

The debate topic includes the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), the RM2.6 billion in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak's accounts, the East Coast Rail Line Project (ECRL) and the BMF scandal, which occurred during Mahathir's tenure as prime minister.

Plans for the debate came about after Nazri challenged Mahathir to contest against him in Padang Rengas, the parliamentary constituency which the former has held since 1995.

Mahathir had countered Nazri's challenge and asked the latter to contest against him in Langkawi instead.

Mahathir then denied any plans to contest in the upcoming general election, and switched his challenge to a debate, which Nazri accepted.