Anwar-Najib debate on Sapura Energy slated for May 12

(FMT) – The public debate between former prime minister Najib Razak and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim over the Sapura Energy Bhd issue has been fixed for May 12.

At a press conference today, PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said the debate would be held at Dewan Tunku Canselor, Universiti Malaya, at 9pm.

Anwar had previously said that all the media should be invited to cover the debate after Najib’s camp said it was keen to have the debate aired live by Malaysia Gazette.

Both sides had previously had different opinions on when the debate should be held.

Fahmi, who held a joint press conference with Selangor Barisan Nasional information chief Isham Jalil, said the debate would have three segments.

The first segment will deal with whether Sapura Energy needs a bailout, followed by a debate on the future of Malaysia from the economic, political and governance aspects. The last part will be a question-and-answer session.

“We believe many are looking forward to this debate. We believe this will provide the opportunity for Malaysians to evaluate the various ideas, arguments and views,” Fahmi said.

Fahmi said the debate will be aired live through selected media channels which will be announced soon, adding that the number of people attending physically will be limited.

He hoped the debate could be held in a peaceful atmosphere to “reflect a more mature political culture”.

Sapura Energy, a government-linked company (GLC), had announced a loss of RM8.9 billion last year. Najib said this was the largest for any Malaysian GLC in history.

Najib has been pushing for a bailout of the company. However, PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli has been against the idea, stating the funds could be put to better use.