MCA & MIC say that Debate with Anwar ‘a waste of time’

RK Anand | November 28, 2012
MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek and MIC secretary-general S Murugesan say there is no need for a debate between the prime minister and opposition leader.
PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional leaders have dismissed the need for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to engage in a debate with Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.
Advising the premier not to waste time on this matter, MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek urged Najib to focus on the economic growth of the nation instead.
“There is no need for the prime minister to debate with Anwar. His policies such as the Government Transformation Programme and Economic Transformation Programme are clear.
“These initiatives have been implemented and are bearing fruits. It is Anwar who remains untested,” he told FMT.
Accusing the opposition of stirring and spinning an old issue, Chua said these debates do not result in constructive solutions.
The MCA leader also dismissed the comparison drawn with the US presidential debates given that Najib was fond of talking about US President Barack Obama.
“Ours is not a presidential election like in the US… it is a party election and the candidate stands on behalf of the party,” he said.
Chua also rubbished claims that Najib was afraid to debate with Anwar.
“There is no question of fear. These debates are just unnecessary. I debated with [DAP secretary-general] Lim Guan Eng twice but what did we achieve? I just wasted my time,” he said.
On Monday, Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga had urged Najib to debate with Anwar in order to allow voters to determine which political coalition was best qualified to govern the nation.
She said Bersih would initiate a public petition to pressure the prime minister, who had declined to debate with Anwar stating, among others, that it was not part of the Malaysian culture, to accept the
opposition leader’s challenge.
According to Ambiga, a debate between the top two leaders was vital since the coming general election was being described as the most important in the nation’s history.

Contradictions in Pakatan Rakyat
Yesterday, Guan Eng and Anwar’s daughter, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah, criticised Najib for dodging the debate.
The DAP leader claimed that Najib did not want to subject his leadership to a thorough examination and feared being trounced in the debate whereas Nurul described the prime minister as a false democrat.
Meanwhile, MIC secretary-general S Murugesan also defended Najib’s refusal to debate and pointed out the contradictions in Pakatan Rakyat as to who would be prime minister should the opposition form government.
“Before they can talk about debates, Pakatan should first decide on who is their choice for the post of prime minister. On the one hand, you have PAS saying it should be [PAS president] Abdul Hadi Awang and the rest want Anwar,” he told FMT.
During the recent PAS muktamar or general assembly, Ulama Council representative Hairun Nizam said that Hadi was the most qualified candidate to be prime minister and PAS members should campaign for their own party members to become leaders.
He said that PAS should not be campaigning or supporting other leaders among the opposition.
Murugesan also disagreed with the allegation that Najib was afraid of taking on Anwar due to the latter’s fiery oratory skills.
“The question of fear does not arise because the prime minister has excellent oratory skills himself,” he said.

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