Dr M must first debate his challengers


It’s only fair that he goes through the preliminary rounds before facing Najib.

Tajuddin Rosli, Free Malaysia Today

In the latest episode of the Mahathir-Najib dispute, the former prime minister has challenged the current one to a public debate. The masses would love to see Najib accept the challenge and the event televised. What an interesting spectacle that would be.

However, Najib should just ignore the man and not get into a war of words with him. Mahathir may have been Malaysia’s longest serving prime minister, but the fact remains that he is a has-been who, many believe, did a lot of damage to the nation during his tenure. Perhaps he’s paying for all that now in the torment of desperation and frustration that he’s going through in trying to remove Najib. All his attempts towards that end have been futile so far.

The reality of the present situation is that Najib is the Prime Minister. To use an analogy from the world of boxing, Najib is the reigning champion. Mahathir is an ex-champion. If he wants to regain the crown, he needs to battle through the preliminary rounds before facing the current champion.

He first has to respond to challenges that have been pending for years from the following fighters:

Nurul Izzah Anwar

In 2010, Mahathir created a sort of sensation when he warned that Malays would lose their dominance if Pakatan Rakyat came to power, as a Chinese or Indian may become the Prime Minister. Nurul Izzah openly challenged him to a debate. She said the purpose was “to clarify if Mahathir’s fear for Malaysia was really about loss of power or rather loss of wealth for the chosen few.” It is 2015 now and Mahathir is yet to accept the challenge.