Debate with Dr M an ‘in­tel­lec­tual dis­course’

New Straits Times - - News -

TOURISM and Cul­ture Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Mo­hamed Nazri Ab­dul Aziz has given an as­sur­ance that his up­com­ing debate with Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad will be an “in­tel­lec­tual dis­course”, and not a petty quar­rel.

The Umno Supreme Coun­cil mem­ber said he would not budge from his de­ci­sion to debate the for­mer prime min­is­ter on Satur­day, de­spite the event not be­ing aired live on tele­vi­sion.

“Of course, (the debate) is still on. I met (Home Min­is­ter) Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi and he said that there was no prob­lem,” Nazri said at the par­lia­ment lobby here yes­ter­day.

Nazri also said there was no need to air the event live, say­ing it was a debate be­tween two “reg­u­lar” in­di­vid­u­als, and not be­tween the gov­ern­ment and the op­po­si­tion.

“I think Dr Ma­hathir has no post (in the op­po­si­tion) and he is not the op­po­si­tion leader. I am also not the head of gov­ern­ment.”

Nazri made it clear that he would par­tic­i­pate in the debate in his ca­pac­ity as Padang Ren­gas mem­ber of par­lia­ment and not as a Barisan Na­sional or Umno leader.

Asked whether a win­ner would be de­cided, Nazri said: “No, I un­der­stand this is an in­tel­lec­tual dis­course and not a quar­rel be­tween chil­dren. It is a se­ri­ous debate. He can ask me ques­tions and I will an­swer them.”

Nazri said he did not mind if Umno mem­bers were not in­vited to the event, say­ing he wanted to ad­dress sup­port­ers of the op­po­si­tion on var­i­ous is­sues di­rectly.

PIC BY AIZUDDIN SAAD

Tourism and Cul­ture Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Mo­hamed Nazri Ab­dul Aziz telling re­porters at the par­lia­ment lobby in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day that there is no need to air the event live.

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