PETALING JAYA: In an exciting first for the Malaysian political scene, two Umno presidential hopefuls will debate each other on the night before the party polls.
Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah will go head-to-head against Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin in a televised exchange set to be aired on Astro Awani at 9.30pm on June 29.
The 81-year-old Razaleigh, popularly known as “Ku Li” and who was Finance Minister from 1976 to 1984, had challenged the other contenders to a debate.
Khairy was ready to rumble, saying that it would strengthen democracy in Umno and the country’s political landscape.
It is unclear if Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi – the most senior party leader vying for the helm – would be joining them, as he had earlier declined to comment when asked if he would participate in such a debate.
Dr Ahmad Zahid has assumed the role and responsibilities of party president since Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak relinquished the role and also resigned as Barisan Nasional chairman in the wake of the coalition’s loss in the 14th general election on May 9.
According to Astro Awani’s official Facebook page, viewers can also be a part of the debate as their questions will be aired using the hashtag #DebatAWANI on social media platforms.
It will also be shown on FB Live and broadcast live over TV on Channel 501 on Astro.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo had earlier said he would be willing to ask RTM to telecast the debate if the candidates wanted it.
On June 17, Umno executive secretary Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh confirmed that seven names had been submitted for the Umno presidency for the party elections on June 30.
However, he only confirmed the identities of three candidates namely Khairy, Ku Li and Dr Ahmad Zahid.
We're sorry, this article is unavailable at the moment. If you wish to read this article, kindly contact our Customer Service team at 1-300-88-7827. Thank you for your patience - we're bringing you a new and improved experience soon!