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Tuesday, 15 July 2008


Dsto' Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the de-facto-leader of PKR

Tuesday July 15, 2008
Anwar-Shabery discussion live on three stations at 9pm

KUANTAN: The fuel price debate between Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be aired live on TV9, Astro Awani and Bernama TV.

Ahmad Shabery said he preferred it not to be aired by RTM as this could be seen as him trying to seek popularity.

However, RTM could air the debate live if its director-general wished to, especially because RTM is available throughout the country, he told reporters after the official opening of the new state broadcasting complex here yesterday.

The debate is organised by news portal Agenda Daily and will take place at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka in Kuala Lumpur at 8.30pm today.

Ahmad Shabery said the debate had to be aired live so that the public would not have the perception that it was being doctored before going on air.

“The debate is to have a clear picture of the government's decisions and policies as well as to correct public perception on the matter,” he said.

He said all this while, the Opposition, and particularly Anwar, had been giving misleading information.

“As Information Minister, it is my responsibility to inform them on what is right,” he added.

Meanwhile, PKR vice-president Azmin Ali said the party was ready for the debate but was not sure if Barisan Nasional was ready.

DS Anwar Ibrahim wants the Prime Minister or DS Najib Tun Razak (above left). How about DS Hishamuddin Tun Hussein, The BN Ketua Pemuda? Aren't they good enough?

In fact, Anwar wants to debate with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi or Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak or both of them, and not the Information Minister.

“We are prepared to go on,” he said at the Parliament lobby yesterday.

Anwar has reportedly promised to reduce fuel prices if the Opposition formed the government. (The Star Online)

There will be some excitement, especially among the media community. Some say that the country is going into a new era of "open-ness" which it has never been before: A government minister versus a de-facto-leader of an opposition party.

A media analyst wished that "this debate" would set a precedent of more things to come in the near future which will lead to a two-party system of partisanship. He said, "In USA the people have enjoyed lively debates between Democrats and Republicans, Great Britain between Conservative and Labour, I see no reason why we cannot enjoy the same debate here in our country, especially during the Election season or during the time of crisis like today. I think we, the Malaysian people are matured enough to have this live debate. Let's hope one day we will have this kind of debate will culminate into a political culture, especially beween Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR), and which will fuether enhanced our political maturity at large."

If the USA took 200 years to build up its political maturity, here in Malaysia we are only taking it in 50 years. Isn't it spectacular and something to brag about?

Tonight's moderator, Dato' Johan Jaaffar of DBP.

Tonight's moderator is a columnist and Chairman to the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Board of Directors. He might be a neutral person and the live event will take place in Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. However, the analyst said knowing the moderator's background, he would prefer rather a moderator chosen from the list of veteran and experienced journalists, who would be well-known for his or her "without fear or favour" stuff. When asked who that person would be, he just winked and smiled.

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