KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 – 1Malaysia Development Berhad president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy has accepted the debate challenge by DAP lawmaker Tony Pua. “I hereby accept the debate challege. Bring it on!” he said in a statement today.
Yesterday, Pua challenged Arul Kanda to settle their feud over the 1MDB issue in a live televised debate. Arul Kanda said he was ready for a face-off with Pua although he found it “ironic” that a Public Accounts Committee “DAP judge” would want to debate with a “defendant” after the proceedings were over and a “bi-partisan, collective” PAC report had been issued.
Arul Kanda hoped Pua had checked with the Dewan Rakyat Speaker before issuing the challenge to “avoid being embarassed a second time.” On Oct 29 last year, Arul Kanda and Pua seemed set for a debate on live television, but Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin directed the PAC member not to make any statement on 1MDB, via any medium.
The PAC hearing on 1MDB was ongoing at the time, and Pua complied with the directive. Arul Kanda said Pua was confused and contradicted himself. “He does not know if he loves me or hates me. He says I should resign, then says I should stay on and debate him.” He added: “What is clear is that despite him almost exclusively questioning me for two full days at the PAC (hearing), YB Tony still wants to spend quality time with me. Far be it from me to deny YB Tony this pleasure.”