Why I didn't go for Najib's jugular, Anwar on live debate

MINDERJEET KAUR
MINDERJEET KAUR
27 May 2022 09:00am
Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says there were several conditions imposed on him during Najib-Anwar live debate.
Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says there were several conditions imposed on him during Najib-Anwar live debate.
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PETALING JAYA - Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he took the May 12 debate challenge with the former prime minister as he did not want to be seen as the one who retreated.

Several conditions were imposed as he could not refer to the1MDB, corruption and "nothing personal".

"But why did I agree (despite the conditions)? I wanted the debate to go on because to allow those cynical and against us to listen," he told Sinar Daily Politically Frank segment.

He said during the debate he wanted to raise issues on ensuring leaders pay taxes.

"When he (Najib) spoke on GST, my immediate reaction was to say, yes sir, pay your taxes (too). Stop that crap of (just) asking others to pay taxes.

"But I could not (due to the limitation)."

The same with 1MDB, he said. "Similarly, on 1MDB, explain why the need to burden the country with billions when it could be given to the poor. But I could not."

Upon reflection, he said he was happy as people would remember the example of the cake, referring to Najib's analogy of making the "cake" bigger with projects and investments so that more people would benefit from it.

Anwar took a dig at Najib's cake analogy, stating the cake should be equally shared among the rakyat and not just among the elites.

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"We should not bail out (companies) for the rich at the expense of the poor," Anwar said on Najib's suggestion to bail out the ailing Sapura Energy Bhd.

"There were some who asked why didn't you go hard enough and go for the jugular? I could not (due to the conditions imposed)."