Malaysia’s government rejects call for American-style political debate ahead of election
By EILEEN NG,Associated Press Writer AP – Sunday, March 2
“KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Malaysia’s government has rejected an Islamic opposition party’s challenge to hold an American-style public debate between their leaders ahead of March 8 general elections, news reports said Sunday.
Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party President Abdul Hadi Awang recently dared Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to hold a televised debate similar to those held by U.S. presidential candidates.
But the Sunday Star newspaper quoted Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz as saying there was no place for such debates in Malaysia.
“We don’t follow the American system in our country. We (the country’s leaders) should be debating with villagers or town folks concerning local issues affecting them,” she said in the report.
An aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity citing protocol, confirmed the minister’s comments but did not give further details.
PAS is the chief rival of Abdullah’s National Front coalition for votes among ethnic Malay Muslims, who make up about 60 percent of Malaysia’s 27 million people. PAS controls the northeastern state of Kelantan, the only one of Malaysia’s 13 states under opposition rule.
Malaysia has substantial minority populations of ethnic Chinese and Indians.
Sunday’s New Straits Times newspaper quoted Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak as saying there was no need for the National Front coalition to entertain the PAS call for a public debate.
“That is the way of the opposition,” he was quoted as saying. “We give everyone the freedom to campaign but it is the people who will decide the outcome.”
PAS officials said Malaysia’s largely pro-government mainstream media have given the opposition little exposure and a debate would give it a chance to publicly air its views.
“We want the National Front to debate on public issues so people can compare our policies, but they are afraid people will have the opportunity to listen to PAS. They want to deny us the media exposure,” PAS senior official Hatta Ramli told The Associated Press.
“It looks like our standard of democracy is very much lower than in the U.S.,” he said.
The National Front, which won 91 percent of parliamentary seats in 2004 polls, is expected to easily win again but with fewer seats amid public complains over rising inflation, crime, and racial and religious tension.
Both sides are waging a hard-fought campaign ahead of the March 8 polls, with top leaders crisscrossing the country to make speeches.
The National Front aims to capture Kelantan and has pledged billions of dollars (euros) to develop the mostly rural state.”
Hoi Rafidah Aziz, (she deserved no polite designation from me) Candidates do not debate with villagers. They should convince them, not debate with them. How do you convince the rakyat? Well, you debate with the opposing team. Understand? Bangang betul.
Just admit that BN candidates do not have the brain and balls to hold a proper debate with the opposition. BN candidates just know how to talk about how many roads they built, how many ‘longkang’ they cleaned up, how many potholes they repaired. Hey dumbass, these are the job scope of the local councilor lah! You just to shout at the sleeping local authority to do their job properly and you need not to attend to these petty issues.
Just look at the BN advertisements, ridiculously dumb and misleading. Who will believe it but the less educated folks? I watched an advert that day, about prices of goods between Malaysian and neighboring countries. One Indian guy (notice not, they always try to put all races in their adverts, konon konon harmony lah!!!) pulled out a chart with the price comparison for Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand for staple goods.
For example chicken price in Singapore is RMX, Indonesia is RMY, Thailand RMZ (I couldn’t remember the figure, but the point they are trying to send is that chicken price in Malaysia is the cheapest among all lah.) Yes, how stupid, to convert it all into ringgits and compare.
One guy (Malay guy this time. WTF with all these races classification? I am getting sick hearing you Malay, he’s Indian, I am Chinese. For god’s sake we are all Malaysians!) asked ‘Awak tahu mengapa harga barang di Malaysia lebih murah berbanding negara lain?’ (You know why price of things in Malaysia is cheaper than other countries?) and he continued
‘Sebab kerajaan kita bagi subsidi! Kita harus berterima kasih kepada kerajaan kita kerana mengambil berat akan kesusahan rakyat’ (Because our government subsidized the goods. So we must be grateful to our government because they care for the people).
The ending of the adverts is a mamak came out with a cup of coffee and put in in front of a Chinese lady and said ‘RM3.00’ (I think lah, no so clear but again the point is to tell that the coffee is ridiculously priced). The lady asked the mamak ‘Mengapa mahal sangat?’ (Why so expensive?). The mamak replied her ‘Mestilah mahal, ini kopi Singapura!’ (The coffee is from Singapore, that is why so expensive!)
Hello!!!! BN think Malaysians are idiots? Converting everything to ringgit and tell us our goods are cheap? Damn it. Dollar to dollar, even the coffee if RM3.00 means it’s only SD 1.30!!! Any Singaporean can afford that with their money.
And to think certain goods like flour, chicken, cooking oil are subsidized here but not in those countries! Yet we are still that expensive. Want to compare, remove the subsidy, compare the value in each currency lah, not after conversion. Bodoh! Want more comparison? Compare with UK anyone?
Cost of living in UK is not higher but lower than Malaysia, if one doesn’t convert from RM to pounds of course. An average fresh grad in the UK starts at about 1800-2000 pounds a month. An average fresh grad in Malaysian starts at about RM1800-2000 a month. The income tax in the UK is indeed higher, at 20%, about 3 times higher than Malaysia, now here comes the interesting part.
1) a litre of petrol in the UK cost at most a pound but in Malaysia?
2) In the UK, road users don’t have to pay tolls because they have already paid in taxes but in Malaysia, you have road tax AND TOLLS and the nature of debate going on in the parliament about tolls will even put fighting cockerels to shame.
3) In the UK, a chicken cost an average of 2-4 pounds but in Malaysia, a chicken cost at least 10 ringgit if you want to get food poisoning and salmonella.
4) In the UK, to buy a new car cost between 4000-8000 pounds for the most economical one. In Malaysia, a new car is a must because our public transport is abysmal. The cheapest car is how much? You tell me.
I can go on and on and on to compare between both countries.
Yes, I am not grateful. I love to bitch about my country. So? You are free to rebuke me. But if you present your points in a stupid way, you know… you are just making a fool out of yourself. I need not to do anything anymore.
A friend overheard this these two people talking yesterday at the DAP/PKR ceramah…
Person 1 : Wou know what’s the problem with the opposition?
Person 2 : What?
Person 1 : Only the educated ones vote for them.
Person 2 : So what? How’s that a problem?
Person 1 : ……There are only so few educated people left in Malaysia…
Enough said, BN candidates semua bodoh. Same goes with their supporters. Sekian terima kasih.
Updated 2.39pm :
Nah! This is an example of BN candidate. A party bankrupt of ideas and even losing on the cleaning the drains, fixing the lamp posts and clearing garbages arguments, guess this is the only way for them to garner sympathy votes. If not bodoh is what?