Last Wednesday, after watching 1MDB President, Arul Kanda’s live interview with Bernama TV, I was left dissatisfied and frustrated with many questions which were either not asked or not answered.
I had issued a statement entitled “Can I do a talk show with Arul Kanda, where I ask the questions?” the next day. I had hoped that after Arul made the first offer to dialogue in January this year which was subsequently withdrawn, he would agree to this “talk show”.
At first, I was left disappointed that the 1MDB President “accepted” the challenge but attached an unacceptable condition that I resign from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), citing a “conflict of interest”.
As far as millions of Malaysians are concerned, there isn’t any alleged conflict of interest because I will ask questions for Arul to answer, whether in the PAC or outside of it. Furthermore, I’m not related to Arul Kanda or 1MDB in anyway and hence such conflict does not arise.
Instead, I had argued yesterday that the real person with a conflict of interest is the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak who is directing and influencing the investigation process despite having personally signed off all major transactions which took place in 1MDB. Hence if anyone should resign, it should be the Prime Minister.
Therefore, I was extremely pleased when Arul Kanda withdrew his condition to accepting the talk show.
He was quoted saying “today, I stand before you to say openly to Tony Pua I withdraw my condition. I will meet YB Tony Pua for live discussion, or talk show, or debate, without any condition.”
I would like to thank him for the gentlemanly acceptance of the invite without attaching any conditions. I would also like to thank the Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Salleh Said Keruak for offering RTM to host the live talk show even before the invite was accepted.
I am certain that over the next week, our respective teams will meet and thrash out the date, time and format of the talk show.
I certainly look forward to meeting Arul for the very first time and asking the questions which Malaysians have been dying to ask for the longest time.
I firmly believe that the biggest winners from the live discussion will be Malaysians out there who have been frustrated, perplexed and perhaps confused by the shenanigans which appear to have taken place in 1MDB.