Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Last night's debate

Didn't see the debate live but managed to get the video from Youtube. Also looked at some comments in other blogs and generally I agree with their reviews, that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim did a better job presenting his views on the petrol subsidies while Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek is still repeating the same reasons that has been reported by the media.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also seem more interested in the debate than the Information Minister who went on a couple of personal attacks while failing to answer the question from the panel about public transporation. Instead of talking about the petrol price and subsidies, Datuk Ahmad Shabery presented his "HARI INI DALAM SEJARAH" about Anwar's role as a student leader back in the 1970s.

Even when he managed to talk about the petrol subsidies, he made a couple of errors:

1) By comparing Malaysia with Norway and Finland, how the countries do well economically despite not giving subsidies. It was shot down by Anwar - Norway has a per capita income 10-folds that of Malaysians and this was not a basis for comparison.

2) Mentioning that countries like Venezuela which has cheap petrol with high inflation. Later on, he mentioned that we should not compare with them. (Wonder why he has a sudden interest in Venezuela... perhaps he watched the Miss Universe Pageant in the morning.)

I find that the government has sent the wrong person to debate with Anwar. I think they could have gotten someone who's more prepared to take on the PKR advisor and make it a real debate. This looks more like the government taking the opportunities to discredit Anwar as a person and not his arguements.

If you missed the debate, you can search for it on Youtube. Just type "Fuel Price Debate". Otherwise, you can also read the minuteby-minute summary here.

If you have watched the debate, then try look up today's New Straits Times on the debate.

The NST report seems to be telling a different story of how the debate went. If I had not watched the debate on Youtube, I would've thought that Anwar was grilled by Shabery. The Star did no better but at least it did not portray Shabery having the upper hand in the debate.

If Pak Lah says that we should not believe what is written on the blogs and internet, then please let the printed media be more neutral in their reportings.