Khairy sends formal invitation to debate

(Free Malaysia Today) –  Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin piled the pressure on Anwar Ibrahim for an open debate on the economy by sending a formal invitation to the opposition leader today.

The invitation letter was submitted by the wing’s delegation this morning, led by national deputy secretary Megat Firdouz Megat Junid and information chief Reezal Merican.

The letter stated that Khairy wishes to debate Anwar specifically on “Methods to manage the nation’s economy”.

“We come in a respectful manner to send a formal invitation to Anwar to accept our invitation for a debate on the economy.

“I hope he accepts the invitation, which is good to widen democracy for the people,” Reezal told reporters after handing over the letter to the PKR headquarters here.

Debate space to explain 100-day reform

Khairy’s challenge came after Anwar dared Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to an intellectual duel following the premier’s sharp rebuke of Pakatan Rakyat’s 100-day reform pledges, which he said was “too good to be true and would bankrupt the nation”.

Najib dismissed the challenge as pointless and continued with his attack on the programme which includes paying an allowance of RM500 to all teachers, abolishing highway tolls and maintaining fuel subsidies.

The 100-day programme, apparently Pakatan’s election manifesto, was unveiled at its second national convention in Penang last month.

Anwar claimed the opposition would only need RM19 billion to finance the programme.

Khairy, however, argued that the programme is flawed and lacks concrete details on how it plans to attain the amount and finance the pledges should it wrest federal power.

Both Megat Firdouz and Reezal, who are also Umno Youth senior executive councillors, backed their chief’s arguments, contending that only a debate would give Anwar the perfect avenue to explain the programme better.

“We want to give voters the space and opportunity to evaluate the 100-day pledges,” said Megat Firdouz.

Khairy, debate Syamsul instead

Meanwhile, PKR Youth information chief Lee Khai Loon in an immediate response to the challenge attempted to deflect Khairy’s dare and turned the table on Najib instead.