KUALA LUMPUR: Indicating his frustration over the permit cancellation for his scheduled debate with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over “public safety concerns”, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz today jokingly said that he will propose an alternative debate venue overseas.
He said the debate could take place either in London, Greenland or even Antarctica.
"I think Antarctica would be OK. Hopefully, the penguins there understand either English or Bahasa.
"(If) the penguins, too, complain that it would pose a threat to their safety, then I will not proceed with the debate," he quipped.
When met by reporters at Parliament, Nazri said he could not fathom why police would cancel the debate, adding that he was shocked and disappointed when he first heard the news.
The Padang Rengas Member of Parliament said he believes that the reason for the cancellation is his position as a minister.
"I don't think it's because of Tun Mahathir. He's old and frail. I think it's because of me. Maybe (the police) think that I'm a national threat. Maybe I'm the gangster.
"Or maybe we can do it at the Cheras police auditorium. I was told that the place is big, and since it's the police’s place, everything will be under control.
"Maybe we can suggest for the police to be the organiser instead of Karangkraf," he added.
The Nazri-Mahathir debate was supposed to take place at Karangkraf's Sultan Muhammad V Hall in Shah Alam on April 7.
However, Selangor police yesterday said they had revoked the permit, citing a “security threat.”