KUALA LUMPUR: Admitting to be an "ordinary citizen", Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) says he remains keen on debating Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on current issues.
"I am an ordinary citizen now. But lots of people seem to be quite supportive of my idea (to debate Najib). When I said that I was alone, they said 'No, no you are not alone.' I don't know whether they said this because I paid them money," he quipped to laughter from the crowd.
"When I look at my blog posts, for example, in one hour, about one million people supported me. Am I alone? I don't think so," said the former prime minister.
Dr Mahathir added that it would be good if Najib read the comments on chedet.cc as well as the many posts found on social media.
He was speaking at an event called "My most dangerous idea: A conversation with Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad" at the 2015 Cooler Lumpur Festival in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
On Friday, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said Dr Mahathir had no right to ask Najib for a debate as he was just an ordinary citizen and had no standing to debate the Prime Minister, adding that the existing platform to do so was the Parliament.
Dr Mahathir also came to the defence of Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, who was reprimanded by Nazri for criticising Najib.
"Well, that is free speech. As much as the Government has free speech, the Crown Prince also has free speech. Or do we have a law that says the Crown Prince has no free speech?" Mahathir asked.
On Saturday, Nazri said that Tunku Ismail should stay out of politics.
Tunku Ismail had made a post on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page on June 5, criticising Najib for not attending a dialogue organised by an NGO.
Dr Mahathir was at the event venue, which was eventually called off by the police for "security and safety reasons".