Nazri says debate with Dr M will boost tourism for Padang Rengas

Nazri sarcastically suggested to the police that the debate location be held at other locations like London, Ireland or Antarctica to avoid posing a security threat. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said today the debate between him and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will boost tourism in his Padang Rengas constituency in Perak.

The Tourism and Culture Minister said the debate on March 25 would help boost the local economy as many people will be there for the weekend to attend the event.

“I’m also doing this for tourism in Padang Rengas. People will be coming, spending money there and some of them would want to stay overnight. For Padang Rengas tourism, it will be a boost,” Nazri told reporters when met at the Parliament lobby today.

The Umno supreme council member also said if he didn’t  accept Dr Mahathir’s challenge, no one would have turned up at the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia roadshow in Padang Rengas.

“I’m doing him a favour. If he had not challenged me and I’ve not accepted, nobody would have attended his roadshow in Padang Rengas. Now, everybody is coming. It is entirely because of me,” Nazri added.

He also stressed that his dialogue with Dr Mahathir is done on personal grounds and would go ahead even if Umno or the Cabinet disapproved.

“Whether there is support from Umno or not, even if I’m alone I will proceed. I don’t need any support from anybody,” Nazri said.

Dr Mahathir today said he was glad Nazri has arranged for a hall to host their debate and will be attending it.