Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today urged his former boss to accept the debate challenge from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad instead of “jumping the gun” by attacking his yet-to-be-registered political party.
Muhyiddin, who heads the pro-tem committee of Parti Pribumi Bersatu (Bersatu) which is awaiting approval from the Registrar of Societies, was responding to Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s statement yesterday questioning its Bumiputera direction while at the same time having cooperation with an “anti-Malay” DAP.
“It’s strange that an unborn party got Najib’s attention. It’s yet to get members, yet to have branches. It’s only a splinter mosquito party. Before anything, Najib has jumped the gun,” said Muhyiddin.
The former deputy prime minister instead urged Najib to accept a challenge from Dr Mahathir to debate with him live on television.
“If Najib has the courage and wants to clear his name, he should accept the challenge from Dr Mahathir to a debate. There is no need for Najib to divert attention and blame others,” said Muhyiddin.
Last week, Dr Mahathir, who had been admitted at the National Heart Centre for observation, invited Najib to debate with him.
Dr Mahathir has emerged as Najib’s most vocal critic, focusing on allegations surrounding 1MDB.
The US Department of Justice recently announced it was seeking the forfeiture of some US$1 billion in assets stolen from 1MDB, and named Najib’s step son Riza Aziz as one of the culprits.
Muhyiddin said more attacks on DAP would be forthcoming in the coming days as part of the dirty tactics by Najib to scare Malay voters.
“DAP will be made into the most frightening ‘bogey’ to scare Malays and divert their attention from all the wrongdoings of Najib,” he said.
Muhyiddin also urged Najib to read a copy of Bersatu’s draft constitution which stated the new party’s commitment to uphold Islam, respect non-Muslim rights, uphold the Malay rulers and defend the special status of the Malays and Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak.
He said he was convinced the Malays would unite against the Najib administration which he said had “undermined the dignity of race and country”.