Rafizi to replace Pua in 1MDB debate


(Malay Mail Online) – Pakatan Harapan announced today PKR’s Rafizi Ramli will replace DAP’s Tony Pua to debate the issues surrounding 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) with the state-owned investment company’s president Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

DAP’s parliamentary whip Anthony Loke made the announcement in a press conference at the Parliament lobby here after getting approval from the Pakatan Harapan presidential council last night.

“Pakatan Harapan has offered Rafizi Ramli to replace Tony Pua in the debate with Arul Kanda. We hope that this debate can be aired live on television,” he told reporters.

The Seremban MP said Pakatan Harapan also would be consulting Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak to ask for Rafizi’s debate with Arul Kanda to be aired live.

“Even though the minister said yesterday that the RTM offer is off because Pua is not able to debate, we have announced Rafizi as the replacement. We hope Salleh can continue the slot in RTM.

“We are prepared to meet him and discuss the details and arrangement to ensure the debate happens through RTM,” Loke said, adding that if RTM refuses the offer would be open to other television stations.

Rafizi meanwhile urged Arul Kanda to accept the challenge as it would show the corporate man’s skills as a debater on a topic of national interest.

“Frankly speaking I don’t think there is any way out for  Arul. Arul has to come and explain. I hope he can explain a lot better than most of the ministers so far.

“This is his best opportunity to put his side of the story. He has all the information we don’t. To begin with he has all the advantages compared to us. So I don’t see any reason for a supposedly good debater to miss a chance for a show like this,” the Pandan MP said.

Rafizi also said he would be getting help from Pua to prepare for his debate.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia had earlier this week disallowed the debate between Pua from debating Arul Kanda as it might taint the PAC’s ongoing probe on 1MDB.

When approached by reporters outside Parliament’s lobby here today, PAC chief Datuk Hasan Arifin said he would still have to check with the Speaker first on Arul Kanda’s position as a witness in the panel’s investigation.

“According to Speaker, we don’t have power to stop him,” Hasan said of Arul Kanda.

Pandikar had yesterday said he had no power to impose any order on non-PAC members, including Arul Kanda.

“Whether it jeopardises or not, I will refer to Speaker on what is it first,” Hasan said.

The Rompin MP added that he would releasing an official statement on the matter next week after the Deepavali break.