Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi has offered to take Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's place to debate Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Puad's offer was in response to Mahathir's challenge for Najib to attend the second edition of the "Nothing to Hide" forum on Aug 13 where the former and current prime ministers can explain whether they had stolen public funds.
"If Mahathir is serious about finding out the truth on 1MDB, I offer myself to debate with him in the Nothing to Hide 2.0 forum which they are organising.
"There is no need for him to challenge Najib to debate him in the Nothing to Hide 2.0 forum on the 1MDB issue," he said in a video published by news portal KLXpress today.
Puad said that even though Mahathir claimed that his position as chairperson in Pakatan Harapan was equal to Najib, he did not possess real power.
Therefore, Puad said Mahathir debating an Umno supreme council member such as himself would suffice.
Puad also questioned if Mahathir was serious about debating or was only out to embarrass the prime minister like how he hijacked the first "Nothing to Hide" forum in 2015.
"I know Mahathir is not serious about an intellectual and civil debate.
"I am confident that he only wants to use the Nothing to Hide forum to embarrass the prime minister. They want to create a ruckus and embarrass the prime minister in public.
"This was proven in the first town hall meeting which took place at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC)," he said.
During the first "Nothing to Hide" forum in which Najib was to address questions from stakeholders about the 1MDB issue, Mahathir made a surprise appearance at the function.
Najib later did not turn up, prompting Mahathir to take over the stage and presented a scathing speech against Najib until he was stopped by the police.
"Even though there were people who had met him (Mahathir), asking him not to go but he still showed up with the intention of interrupting," said Puad.