Barisan Nasional’s Eric See-To Choong has accepted a debate challenge from PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli made last month, on condition that Tony Pua of the DAP agrees to debate him separately on the undersea tunnel project in DAP-led Penang.
The Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications (BNSC) deputy director said Rafizi should get the cooperation of Pua, who is MP for Petaling Jaya Utara, to thrash out issues surrounding the planned construction of the tunnel alleged to cost up to RM15 billion.
“It has to be two debates or no debate at all,” See-To said.
He added that being an “expert in every expertise” Rafizi could also assist Pua in the debate over the tunnel project controversy.
“When (Pakatan) Harapan asked me for a debate, I accepted it,” he said in a statement today.
“Hence it is only fair that when I ask (Pakatan) Harapan to debate, they should accept it, more so as it is related to a project that involves the people’s money that could reach as high as RM15 billion.”
On Sept 5, Rafizi challenged See-To to a debate on the country’s economic development, including the tax collected by the Inland Revenue Board (IRB). The challenge was made after See-To argued that there was nothing unusual about income tax collections outpacing the country’s economic growth.
However, See-To replied the next day, saying there was no urgency to hold the debate and that he did not want to “disrupt” the Pandan MP, who was then in the midst of a highly publicised verbal altercation with his own party members.
He said Rafizi’s challenge was nothing more than an attempt to divert attention from PKR’s internal squabbles, and called on him to ask for the debate in a month’s time.
See-To today said Rafizi could have now forgotten about the challenge, as he might be busy dealing with his latest “controversy” on allegations that Invoke Solutions Sdn Bhd owned by him, had made payment to KEIP Resources Sdn Bhd, where Rafizi is also a major shareholder, using funds donated by the public.
He also said Pua had openly defended the tunnel project, before Rafizi issued the offer to debate See-To on the economy.
“I had subsequently challenged Tony Pua to hold an open debate on the Penang tunnel controversy but have not received any reply,” he added.
“The Penang DAP government has responded with silence after I raised new findings on the project a few months ago,” he said, adding that a debate was needed to get answers from DAP.
He also said these would be his first ever debates, and if Rafizi was agreeable, he could use Invoke to arrange the time and venue for the two debates.-FMT