Kedah Umno Youth chief dismisses claim he masterminded Haris-Mukhriz debate

EMBUN MAJID


ALOR STAR: Kedah Umno Youth chief Datuk Shaiful Hazizy Zainol Abidin has denied allegation that he is one of the masterminds behind the proposed debate between Haris Che Mat and Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.


Shaiful, who is also the political-secretary to Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, said he was surprised by the allegation made by Mukhriz in a statement which was shared on social media recently.


“I strongly deny any link to Haris decision to challenge Mukhriz for a debate. I also categorically deny that the Menteri Besar's office has anything to do with it,” he told reporters at Kota Setar police headquarters today.


He was there to accompany Umno Youth members to lodge a police report against Pas Pokok Sena MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar for leading a group of people into the state legislative assembly hall yesterday.


As such, Shaiful challenged Mukhriz to produce evidence to substantiate the allegation, while stressing that Haris had made it clear recently that debate was his own initiative and has nothing to do with Umno.


Mukhriz, in a statement on April 5 and in 'Mukhriz Mahathir FC' Facebook page, has named Shaiful as one of two masterminds behind the debate challenge.


Haris had earlier applied for a police permit to hold the debate in Padang Sera, Jerlun on Saturday, but Kubang Pasu police had shot down the application due to technical and safety issues.


Yesterday, Haris issued a statement that he would be applying a permit to hold the debate this April 27.