Updated at 6.43pm, 29 June 2009
KUALA LUMPUR, 29 June 2009: PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said today he was not informed by the party’s spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat on his wanting to debate with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on PAS-Umno issues.
Hadi Awang Met by reporters at the Parliament lobby today, Hadi, who is also Marang Member of Parliament (MP), said he would meet Nik Aziz for more information on the matter.
Nik Aziz recently issued a challenge for an open debate with Najib following a police report lodged by Kelantan Umno Youth over the menteri besar’s allegedly defamatory statement against Umno at a ceramah in Manik Urai, Kuala Krai, Kelantan.
Elsewhere, PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub suggested that the debate be carried live on television to show the democratic practice of the country’s leaders.
However, Kulim Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Noordin from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) disagreed with the idea of an open debate and suggested that the two sides find a more suitable platform to discuss the issues towards forging Malay and Muslim solidarity.
“I prefer a closed-door dialogue or group discussion. Then we would be able to identify the problems that have contributed to the current uneasy situation. It would be more effective; an open debate would not benefit anyone,” he said at the Parliament lobby.
“The dialogue must also have a moderator who is well-versed in Islam and issues involving the community, so that it would be a smooth dialogue,” Zulkifli added.
Nik Aziz In KOTA BARU, Nik Aziz said he would find other ways to discuss the political differences between PAS and Umno with the prime minister if Najib rejected his proposal for an open debate.
Expressing regret that his proposal had drawn negative reactions, he said he still harboured hopes that it would be considered.
“I’m sad because this debate is the best way in Islam and in a democracy,” he told reporters after the state assembly sitting here.
Nik Aziz said that notwithstanding the reactions of the people and leaders, he would pursue his intention to send a letter on his proposal for the debate to the prime minister on Wednesday, and if Najib rejected it, he would find other ways to ensure that the matter was discussed. — Bernama