Najib fears a black eye from Anwar

RK Anand | November 27, 2012
Lim Guan Eng and Nurul Izzah take the prime minister to task for dodging the calls for a debate with the opposition leader.
PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will never accept the challenge to debate with Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim because he fears being dealt a verbal bruising.
“He will be thrashed!” exclaimed DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng. “That’s why he is worried.”
The Penang chief minister also added that Najib was not prepared to subject himself and his leadership to thorough examination and scrutiny.
“Najib claims that Malaysia is a functioning democracy, then why is he dodging the debate. By dodging the debate, it does not mean that he can sidestep answering pertinent issues,” Lim told FMT.
“If the US and the world’s most powerful man [US president Barack Obama] can do it [participate in the presidential debate], then why can’t Najib do the same?” he asked.
Lim claimed that Najib’s reluctance to debate with Anwar proved that Barisan Nasional would resort to its “same old dirty tricks” to win the next general election.
“BN will rely on its ’4 Ms’ – money, mainstream media, machinery of the government and the fourth ‘M’ being [former premier Dr] Mahathir [Mohamad] – to win the polls,” he said.
The chief minister was responding to Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga’s call on Najib to debate with Anwar in order to allow voters to gauge which political coalition was qualified to lead the nation.
She also said that Bersih would consider mounting a public petition to pressure the prime minister into agreeing to the debate.
Ambiga felt that a debate between the two leaders was crucial since the coming general election was touted as the most important in the nation’s history.
However, Lim believed that even a public petition would not compel Najib to participate in a debate with Anwar.
“While the petition is good for Malaysians to express themselves, Najib however will not care about the petition.
“He will avoid the debate at all cost because he is worried of his weaknesses coming to the fore,” added the DAP leader.

Nurul: He is a false democrat
Meanwhile, Anwar’s daughter and PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah welcomed Ambiga’s timely reminder to the prime minister to prove his worth by debating with the opposition leader.
“His continued attacks against the latter [Anwar] is seen as a mere cop-out when made without readiness for a right of reply from a legitimate political adversary.
“Truly, Najib has learned nothing except for a token picture perfect opportunity with Obama,” she told FMT.
Nurul said the prime minister would continue to perfect his image as a “false democrat” if he kept refusing the calls for a debate.
Najib had dismissed Anwar’s repeated challenge to a verbal jousting match, citing among others that political debates were not part of the Malaysian culture.

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