By Mohd Farhan Darwis and Lisa J. Ariffin
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — PAS’ Salahuddin Ayub today rejected a challenge to debate Datuk Seri Azalina Othman over the Pengerang land-grab issue and said he will only debate with Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.
The PAS vice-president said today a debate with Azalina, who is Pengerang MP, will bring no benefit to the villagers as the power was vested in the mentri besar.
“I will only debate with the Johor MB, that would effect the plights of the villagers,” he said.
“Azalina can debate with the organiser of the Everlasting Green rally, Anis Afida Mohd Azli,” he added.
Salahuddin said he was prepared to debate Ghani (picture) over the issue and believed it must be resolved in an amicable manner.
“I am ready to debate the Johor MB over this issue. It must be resolved with relevance to and be more focused on the land issue,” he said.
“If it were possible, the debate can be broadcast live on Astro, RTM1, RTM2 and TV3.”
Azalina earlier today had dismissed Salahuddin’s claims that Putrajaya was acquiring Pengerang land for less than market price, saying the government was paying up to RM8 per square foot for its land acquisition.
She dismissed the PAS leader’s claims that Putrajaya was only paying RM2.80 a square foot for Pengerang land, which will be used for the development of the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC) in Johor.
The Pengerang Umno division chief also dismissed claims by Pengerang residents that the development project will be detrimental to the area’s overall environment as well as the villagers’ livelihood.
She added that according to the Johor Petroleum Development Corporation, the first phase of relocation, which involved the submission of 179 agreement forms, has been submitted without any protest.
Salahuddin today announced the setting up of Mantap, an organisation formed by the party’s central committee to resolve the Pengerang land-grab issue for the development of PIPC.
The Kubang Kerian MP said today Mantap would ensure the development in Pengerang would not affect the wellbeing of its villagers.
Salahuddin also said Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has estimated 15,000 to 20,000 of its members will participate in the Pengerang Everlasting Green Rally to protest against the project this Sunday.