Anwar-Najib debate: Debaters take on questions from the floor

KUALA LUMPUR: The moderator has opened the floor to questions from the audience, with Datuk Seri Najib Razak picked to answer first.

A medical officer who said her name was Dr Maslea Harun stepped up and asked about the economy.

"Datuk Seri, you are always associated with the phrase 'cash is king' but now, Bank Negara has raised its overnight policy rate (OPR).

"What is your comment? Because when the OPR goes up, inflation will go up and affect the rakyat, until they have to 'terikat perut' (tighten our belts)," she said.

Najib replied that if it was looked at from the perspective of a medical officer, of course the wish of the doctor is to heal the sick as soon as possible.

He clarified that when he said "cash is king", he meant that the rakyat (people) were the actual king.

"That is because the best way to help the rakyat is to transfer money directly to them.

"The rakyat can choose themselves, to use the money based on their own needs," said the former prime minister during the live debate with Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil asked Anwar what he would do to raise the spirits of the people and ensure the country was moving on the right track.

"In Kampung Kerinchi, there are many in dire straits, who have lost their jobs and incomes. Many have lost faith in the political process, as seen in the low turn-out in recent state polls.

"If you were in a position to change the direction of the country, what would you do to raise spirits and ensure the country is on the right track with stable politics and a strong economy?" he asked.

Anwar replied that the country must move from an old administrative system to one that pushes for transparency, integrity and freedom from corruption.

"It requires serious structural change and we must move away from unbridled capitalism and help the bottom rung," he said.

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Najib Razak , Anwar Ibrahim , Debate , Sapura , Governance


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