Najib hits back at Ramkarpal’s rebuff of debate on Pardons Board’s decision

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Ramkarpal described Najib’s debate challenge a waste of time.

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has hit back at Bukit Gelugor member of parliament Ramkarpal Singh for declining his challenge to a debate.

Najib previously challenged Ramkarpal and others of his “haters” to a televised open debate on the RM42 million SRC International case.

Ramkarpal had refused to take up the challenge, describing it as pointless and a waste of time.

“Alright. Someone has suddenly become too busy to exchange views. The reason is that they don’t want Najib to ride on Ramkarpal’s popularity.

Bernama

“We await the decisions of Hanipa Maidin (of Parti Amanah Negara) and (senior DAP leader) Tony Pua,” he said in a Facebook post today.

He then proceeded to call out other critics who had been vocal about the Pardons Board’s decision.

“But if all three, Ramkarpal, Mohamed Hanipa Maidin and Tony Pua, are too busy, other critics like Mohamed Hanif Khatri from Bersih, Mukhriz (Mahathir) or a representative from Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (should take up the challenge.

“A representative from the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda), C4 (Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism), or from the Bar Council is also invited.”

Earlier, Ramkarpal had said he will not be participating in the purported debate that was posted by persons unknown on Najib’s Facebook page.

The DAP lawmaker added that he refuses to be exploited for what he deems a “cheap publicity stunt” that seeks to keep the Umno politician “relevant”.

“It is obvious that Najib wishes to use me to remain relevant by challenging me to this debate. I will not allow myself to be used by this cheap publicity stunt of his.

“It is a pity to see Najib in such a desperate state. Perhaps it would be best for him to make the most of his time in prison now by reflecting on his misdeeds and repent (bertaubat),” he said in a statement.

Ramkarpal also said that despite the challenge, he has yet to receive any official communication from Najib’s side.

The proposal posted on Najib’s Facebook page yesterday invited “Ramkarpal Singh to a televised open debate with a representative from our side on the subject of whether or not Najib deserves a pardon for the SRC case”.

“Should Ramkarpal Singh (who no longer has any reason not to attend since he is no longer a Deputy Minister) declines, other recent haters such as Tony Pua and Hanipa Maidin can take his place.

“Our officers will reach out to you for suitable dates and venue if any of you agrees,” the message read.

No name was listed on the post.

The offer was made following Ramkarpal’s statement last Saturday expressing dissatisfaction with the Pardons Board’s reduction of Najib’s jail sentence from 12 years to six and his fine from RM210 million to RM50 million.

The former deputy law minister said he considered the reduction insufficient for the severity of Najib’s crime.

Ramkarpal said he suspects the posts were uploaded at Najib’s instructions.

“It is pointless engaging with Najib on this issue as it is elementary that the majority judgment of the said application prevails. Even the Pardons Board maintained his conviction.

“As such, any debate, whether with me or anyone else, would not change the fact that Najib remains a convict and that his conviction is safe,” Ramkarpal said.

He advised Najib to refrain from issuing what he terms “nonsensical challenges” for debates, as they hold no bearing on the former prime minister’s legal standing.