PKR strategist Rafizi Ramli has promised to disclose information about Zaid Ibrahim that he says will damage the latter’s reputation.
Commenting on Zaid’s
call for a debate with Anwar Ibrahim, Rafizi told FMT today that he
would wait till this Wednesday to reveal the “dirt” he had unearthed
that would put his boss’s challenger on the defensive.
announced last week that he would challenge Anwar in the Kajang
by-election and has sought a debate which the PKR leader has declined.
“I know that Zaid has been attacking Anwar, projecting himself as
having better credibility,” Rafizi said. “His campaign theme is about
attacking Anwar on his credibility.
“I will answer Zaid’s
criticisms on Wednesday. I’ve been meaning to answer earlier, but I
haven’t had the chance. So if he can be a bit patient, things will be a
bit more fun.
“I’ve got some things to throw at Zaid. He’ll have to explain a few things about his own credibility.”
Zaid said he wanted a debate on issues ranging from personality to
policies and that he would reveal the “real” reasons behind Anwar’s
decision to contest. He also said the debate would help voters decide
whether he or the opposition leader was a more credible candidate.
But Rafizi said the debate was unnecessary and would only distract
voters from the “real” battle, meaning the one between Pakatan Rakyat
and Barisan Nasional.
“At the end of the day, the real contest
is between Pakatan and BN,” he said. “As much as we celebrate democracy
and Zaid has every right to contest, at the same time we shouldn’t
divert the public from the real contest and issues.”
He said it
would be pointless for Pakatan to focus on Zaid’s challenge because
there was “very little Zaid could do for the rakyat”.
dismissed a suggestion that Anwar’s refusal to debate Zaid would affect
his reputation, pointing out that his boss had often received such
challenges and had regularly brushed them off.
“Every Tom, Dick
and Harry has challenged Anwar for a debate, even Perkasa, even (Youth
and Sports Minister) Khairy Jamaluddin. Anwar cannot entertain all
“If he does, then when will it ever stop? All the
independent candidates will want to debate him too—Yuktes Vijay, Herman
Tino. It will become a circus.”
Rafizi said a debate must be
something that is meaningful to the public and not a platform to satisfy
some “people’s lust for attention”.
He said a
debate between Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Anwar would be
meaningful because the two had equal impact on Malaysian politics.
“So if there is a challenge from BN for a debate, then I’m sure Anwar would be more than willing to reconsider,” he said.