Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Who won the debate? I say all Malaysians!

Malaysiakini says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim won the debate. It quotes a readers' survey where 95% of the readers picked Anwar as the winner. I'm not surprised. I've always admired Anwar's oratory skills. He's a captivating speaker and a master at crowd manipulation. But I must say, I was pretty impressed with our Information Minister Datuk Shabery Cheek for being able to handle the situation. I half-expected him to be trashed. He was after all, fighting an uphill battle against the populist sentiment.

What I see from this whole debate is more transparency. For the first time ever, an opposition figurehead, and a government minister faced off, live on television. I think that's a great start. I would certainly like to see more of such debates, on various issues affecting Malaysia and Malaysians. That would keep the BN leaders in check, and the people well informed. Let's go a step further. The opposition should form a shadow cabinet, and on all matters of prime national importance, the shadow minister and the ruling minister should put their views forward, live on tv. That way, Malaysians will certainly stand to win.

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