KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — A group of Barisan Nasional parliamentary interns showed up in front of PKR-linked think-tank INVOKE’s office last week expecting a debate but found it vacant, the internship programme chairman Datuk Razali Ibrahim said today.
Razali, who is also a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, claimed that INVOKE “did not want to debate” when the interns, who came from various universities in Malaysia, wanted to debate its founder Rafizi Ramli on Pakatan Harapan’s alternative budget.
“They went to debate, but the office was closed, unfortunately,” Razali said during an event celebrating the interns under a programme called Mantap in Parliament today.
However, Rafizi explained today that the debate date was never agreed with INVOKE in the first place, and the interns were already notified that the office would be vacant on said date.
Rafizi said the interns called him out for a debate shortly after Rafizi finished debating Razali on the national broadcasting channel, RTM, on Budget 2018.
“I agreed for the debate, but they decided the time, venue and speakers on their own,” he said, referring to the students.
“We wrote to them and informed them that we had other programmes on that day and we can’t have the debate on that particular day, but they apparently showed up anyway,” he added.
Rafizi said that the interns never wrote back to INVOKE to reschedule the matter, and hence he assumed the matter to be settled, until it was mentioned by Razali today.
“This was very childish of them, I did not know Razali would acknowledge this and make it a political issue,” he added.