PETALING JAYA - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has no right to ask the Prime Minister for a debate as he is just an ordinary citizen, said a Cabinet Minister.
Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should not stoop to the former premier's level.
"I don't want my PM to lower himself because he is a PM while Dr Mahathir is just an ordinary citizen.
"So why should my PM need to go to the level of an ordinary citizen? He has no locus standi to have a debate with Najib. For me, certainly it's not a good idea," the Tourism and Culture Minister told reporters after officiating a function in Universiti Malaya.
Nazri said there was already an existing platform for debate, known as the Parliament.
"If there's a debate, it should be in the Parliament between the Opposition Leader and Najib."
When asked about Najib's irregular presence in Parliament, Nazri said: "That's because he has many other things to do as a Prime Minister. We don't want to waste his time.
"Besides, his Ministers are capable of answering questions on his behalf," he said.
Nazri, who is also an Umno supreme council member, defended Najib and said that "he had not done anything wrong".
"There is no way an existing PM should step down unless he commits an offence, dies in office, or is under investigation. Najib is not, and therefore, it is a ridiculous demand," Nazri added.