Dr M says willing to debate Najib on 1MDB


(Malay Mail Online) – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he is willing to take part in a debate with Datuk Seri Najib Razak over troubled firm 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), provided the Prime Minister was willing to do so.

“I believe I still have the ability to debate. So yes, if he (Najib) wants to,” Dr Mahathir was quoted by The Malaysian Insider as saying during a “Bicara Negara” function in Ipoh.

Dr Mahathir had cited his dissatisfaction with how the government is dealing with the 1MDB fiasco as the primary reason behind his push for prime minister and Umno president Najib’s resignation.

This has led to divisions within the ruling party. Umno also recorded a significant drop in support during the two recently-concluded by-elections in Rompin and Permatang Pauh.

In March, Najib ordered the Auditor-General and Public Accounts Committee to investigate 1MDB, amid growing demands for explanations over the state investment firm’s allegedly opaque investment decisions and for amassing a RM42 billion debt pile.

1MDB was incorporated in 2009, after the prime minister announced the decision to turn the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) state fund into a federal agency.

Najib also sits on its advisory board.

Since then, 1MDB has been dogged by negative publicity over its finances and debt, and most recently cash flow problems that saw it struggle to meet a RM2 billion loan payment.