Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Malaysian Politicians Historic First Debate: Let's Be Fair to Both

Malaysiakini reported Anwar vs Shabery in historic debate yesterday (July 15). That's Anwar Ibrahim, the de facto leader of PKR, Pakatan Rakyat and Ahmad Shabery Cheek, our Information Minister, who is from UMNO, Barisan Nasional.

Now, why is that historic? This is the first time ever such debate (between two Malaysian politicians) are being held and televised. Some people termed this as a US-presidential style of debate. I do not see the necessity of attaching the term "US-presidential". A debate is a debate nonetheless. It only matters whether the participants are given equal time and space to supply their points. Fair Measure and Good Will are of prime importance.

In my review, I shall try my best to be fair to both debaters.

Ahmad Shabery Cheek
First and foremost, citizens should not forget to thank Ahmad Shabery Cheek for allowing the history to happen. I recall reading some news that certain politicians discouraged the Information Minister from participating.

One should know, BN has less to gain from the content of the debate. Most Malaysians do not like the recent fuel price hike. It is indeed tough to be in a position to defend the Federal government decision on this matter.

Despite all the pre-debate disadvantages and discouragement, the Information Minister attended. It has to be made known that without his presence there would be no debate. I see this as a positive development coming from BN. This is the form of reform that Malaysia needs.

Now, onto the content of the debate. I feel that he should have tabled more solid facts backing the fuel price hike decision or make more convincing counters on the points delivered by Anwar.

Furthermore, bringing out issues from the past on protests organised by Anwar does not sound convincing to me. In fact, I think the points are somehow out of topic.

Anwar Ibrahim
As usual, a seasoned politician (was the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia for a while before 1998), his points are more convincing compared to Ahmad Shabery Cheek's although the practicality in economic sense requires a thorough evaluation.

He mainly speaks within the topic, which should be the right thing to do in a debate.

He is even good in body language. Right after the debate, quickly he moved forward to shake hands with Ahmad Shabery Cheek. As a person that exudes and instils confidence, it is not surprising that many Malaysians feel that he is Prime Minister-material.

More Debates?
Is this a start to a politically mature Malaysia? Will we be able to see scenarios like Wan Azizah vs Rafidah Aziz , Lim Guan Eng vs Ong Tee Keat, Azmin Ali vs. Nazri, Nik Aziz vs. Pak Lah, Husam Musa vs. Syed Hamid Albar?

Hmmn ... Maybe Gobind Singh Deo vs. Bung Mokhtar or Teresa Kok vs. Ng Yen Yen would be interesting ... Yes, you heard it right.. from me...

Some people call for a debate between Najib or Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Anwar on national issues. That is highly essential.

It would be best if debates can be held occasionally. At least many citizens would be educated on various issues plaguing Malaysia. The nation would know which policy that politicians would prefer to solve certain problems. It is even good for the television stations and mamak stores with big TVs.

My sixth sense tells me the main motive of this event is to quell public anger through protests and such. I am a pessimist. I think it won't be possible for a 2nd debate for a long time. Let's pray that this would not be the one and only live TV debate in the history of Malaysia.

Now, let's pray I am wrong.

1 comment:

C9 said...

Agree!! Hope more debate as such to come..I guess M'sian now is mature enough to analysis the points & facts bring out by duo.

A salute to Anwar who didn't the know his fate after 24 hours from now. BRAVO! his content of the speech is touch the line, touch the "SOUND" of rakyat. A KEY points of his speech :
1) Daya Saingan luar M'sia dengan
luar merosot.
2) Capital income of M'sian 10x
lower compare with Norway.
3) What's the Economy theory where
inflation low where fuel price
increase?
4) Where is the saving after the
13bil cut loss in fuel subsidy?

Above 4 points already enough for Shabery to scratch his head to answer. Yesterday he seen never direct answer any points above. I guess Shabery didn't really demonstrate what's have been done Govt for the "RAKYAT" in the fuel hike price issue.