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Kit Siang challenges Najib to public forum amid Islam-kleptocracy row
Published:  Jul 30, 2018 2:47 PM
Updated: 7:05 AM

Lim Kit Siang has challenged former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak to a public forum, over the latter's continued insistence that the DAP veteran had linked kleptocracy with Islam.

"I had yesterday challenged anyone, especially Umno and PAS leaders, who claim that I had equated Islam with kleptocracy to speak up loud and clear, to identify themselves to Malaysians, so that they can be exposed for their intellectual poverty and moral failing, for I had never in my life belittled Islam or any of the great religions of the world.

"So far, Najib strikes a very solitary lonely figure, for there are none, even among his cronies, who will take up the challenge for the former prime minister to tell lies on his behalf.

"I challenge Najib to a public forum 'Islam is not kleptocracy'. Accept the challenge and our respective representatives can decide on the place, date, time and other details for the public forum," he said in a statement today.

Read more: 26 press releases later, Najib tells Kit Siang 'stop obsessing over me'

Lim also believes that Malaysia has perhaps the highest percentage of people in the country who understand the meaning of the term 'kleptocracy' due to the 1MDB scandal, which Najib has dubbed "fake news."

The back-and-forth began when Najib had took issue with Lim criticising him for allegedly playing on race, religion and fear in the Sungai Kandis by-election.

"Umno lost its unchallenged position as the political party with the majority support of Malay voters in GE14 because there were sufficient Malay voters who were intelligent and sophisticated enough to see through the humbug of such propaganda, and rejected Najib’s vicious and toxic politics.

"They do not want, in particular, to equate Malays and Islam with kleptocracy," Lim said in his July 28 statement.