Rafizi says he respects Azmin's decision not to debate

Aizat Sharif

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli said he respected Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali's decision to turn down his request for a debate, ahead of the party’s election.

The former Pandan MP said he could not force the PKR deputy president to do something that he did not want to.

"I have to respect his decision and I can't force him to continue this tradition if he didn't want to. This (debating) is not something new in PKR."

"To me, the culture of debate is something that will further nurture our democratic virtues and we should not use a different benchmark against others.

"We used to criticise the previous administration for avoiding debate but now, when it comes to out own party, all of a sudden, the principle don't apply," he told reporters after #Reformasi 20 Tahun event last night.

Also present were Sungai Petani MP, Datuk Johari Abdul, Selayang MP, William Leong Jee Keen and Kapar MP, Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid.

Azmin had recently declined Rafizi’s challenge, saying that he did not see a need for debate as it was an internal party election.

Rafizi is contesting against Azmin for the deputy president’s post in the upcoming PKR elections.

Meanwhile, Rafizi said he agreed that the government should further investigate the mega projects initiated by the previous government, especially the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), and the two Strategic Energy Resources (SSER) pipeline projects.

However, he said it was up to the government to decide whether the probe should be conducted on the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) level, police or other related authorities.

"In my opinion, whatever investigation is being done should be allowed to run its due course.

"I don't see the government's reluctance in this. Let them decide what's best to go about the issues." he said.

Rafizi was commenting on former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the three China-linked projects approved during his administration.

Najib also called on the government to reveal all agreements, feasibility studies, economic impact assessments and cost-benefit analysis so that the people can determine if Putrajaya should continue or scrap the projects. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd