Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's One Step Forward for Democrasy!

`Form the Government Today, Fuel Price Down Tomorrow’ Debate

My premonition in my comment in Dato Ibrahim Yahya's blog Dunia Tiger that whether Shaberry Cheek win or lose the debate, Anwar will "win", turned out true. He got what he set to do, and used the occasion to the hilt. Admittedly, we can't deny the fact that Anwar did better as a debater.

It doesn't really matter whether Shaberry Cheek won or lost. Or was he was credible or not? I tend to see he did well given his limitation. Or will Shaberry keep his job or not? He will still have his job. Even if, some believed Shaberry provided more fact and depth in his argument over Anwar's shallow but disgestable to the masses arguments.

Lets forget that Anwar will always take a populist stance for political expediancy. Perhaps, he shifts his stance with the crowd he is talking to. Put aside the fact that Anwar's proposal is not financially viable given our Tapis blend is not meant for vehicular use. Dr Mahathir and Tengku Razaleigh both saw the need to raise pump prices, albeit not a drastic one. Conveniently, Anwar also agreed with that stance.

This was a public political debate. Perception over, who looks, sounds and appeals more to the masses, matter more. It's not an academic forum with discussion held in draggy monotonous voice and the attendee get excited over some hair splitting debate over definition and choice of words.

With most of Malaysians out there seeking for someone to reinforce their opposition to the drastic oil hike, it was political public relation disaster. It may not be as bad as the decision to have the polls on March 8th at the wake of BN's lowest ebb on the opinion poll. But, it could be one if Anwar is taken in by police for his sodomy allegation.

In the end, I agree with Dato Ibrahim that the Rakyat won. Its an appropriate comment by Dato Ahmad Talib that it has "set a new benchmark in the articulation of public issues". With effort like Shah Alam Free Speech already staging inter-partisan debate, do we need to resort to street demonstration? In the long term, this is a better strategy to counter the resentment by the people built by the opposing Pakatan Rakyat.

Political Debate

This was a political debate and its about reaching out to the fence sitter. The content of fact, statistics and argument come secondary and does not need in-depth academic justification.

It is more about exhibiting a better perception of confidence, winning the heart with wits and small gestures, and delivering arguments decipherable to the common folks.

Watch this You Tube of the opening argument that set the stage of the debate.

After the opening arguments, the debate digressed from a policy debate into what it actually is, a political debate. To realised it, compare with the closing arguments below:


Shaberry may have the might of the Barisan Nasional and Government machinery behind him but he was an underdog up against a heavyweight orator.

The odds are stacked against him to defend the Tingkat 4-inspired liberal market-determined economy. As a former Semangat 46, the policy does not jive with his Malay Nationalistic ideological background. Perhaps, one can speculate that his heart is not in it.

The poor quality of questions from his 'wakil' indicate his team did not comprehend Anwar's arguments already expressed in his public rallies. It does he seemed he had no debating strategy or a poor strategy, if there had been one.

Shaberry did caught Anwar on the price set for the 50 sen reduction proposal but missed many of Anwar's weak or generalised arguments like the unaccounted RM3 billion. If not for repeated low blows and few theoretically inconsistent explanation on inflation, which Anwar also uttered, Shabery could have come close to even. Perhaps, he achieved politically what he personally set out to do.

Most of the blog posting and comments expectedly favours Anwar but few postings like that by Bigdog, and Rocky Bru shed a different light.

Political Disaster

With the public generally resenting towards the recent oil hike, the people were looking for an argument to reinforce their opposition. This debate provided a rallying point for them in Anwar Ibrahim. Thats a political disaster for UMNO with its popularity sliding further with ole sleepy still holding on to the wheels.

In fact, some political pundit suspect that this is a program to make Anwar more appealing to the masses and eventually UMNO have no choice but to welcome him. On deck are some crossover to UMNO brought in by Trojan horse with Anwar's blessing.

However before it happen, the Government have to contend now with an Anwar that has raised his popularity. He has the fuel to douse more anger and play up a conpiracy the police will take him away on the sodomy allegation to deny his leadership rise.

Thats one possible reason Anwar did not met the police on Monday and using police harassment as an excuse. He need to use the debate for is advantage.

It seems the cabinet was against the debate but sleepy insisted.

No Lost

However there is no lost there.

It is a new democratic milestone in Malaysian politics. In the long run, people will benefit from access to more point of views. It will raise political consciousness and greater understanding in issues by the people to create a more rationale political climate.

Openness will dispell any need for disruptive and anger driven public demonstration. It will raise the standard of politics in UMNO to improve the people's perception and be more professional, objective, and articulative.

Kudos to Shabery.

Yes, it's one step forward for democrasy.

But will UMNO rise up the expectation set with a leadership that is unable to articulate himself, fear a free press conference and oblivion to the lower voices within his own party?

I just celebrated my birthday. Make your conviction my birthday gift, Pak Lah.


Anonymous said...

Shabery,even so he thought he could challenged Anwar,he can never do so.Even Anwar admitted it that Shabery was not the qualified opponent on some matters.But all in all yesterday's debate turn ok just fine.No chaotic act whatsoever both by the debaters and also their supporters.I am not interested on who win,who lose but i'm more interesed that the govt nowadays gives more channel to speak up.but all in all,we need more (good) results than just words.period.i hope you all what i mean here.words are easier said than done.

but surely,as you said,this one step more for democracy.

Anonymous said...

Anwar punya hujah lebih digemari sebab lebih mudah difahami umum. Anwar pandai untuk bercakap apa yang ingin didengari umum sedangkan formula yang diberikan tidak kukuh dan jelas. Oleh itu ramai beranggapan bahawa Anwar lebih bagus..entahlah..

Anonymous said...

Pada saya Anwar berjaya menggunakan 1 jam yang diperuntukkan pada debat itu untuk menonjolkan krbilitinya dalam politik. Shabery pula berjaya dalam 1 jam itu menunjukkan ketidaksediannya selaku Menteri Penerangan untuk menjelaskan dasar kerajaan.

Pendekatan keterbukaan Shabery untuk memboleh debat itu disiar secara langsung amat dialu-alukan dan ini membuktikan demokrasi masih hidup.

Apa yang malangnya pada debat itu, pada keseluruhannya membuktikan wakil kerajaan bukanlah sehebat lawannya.

Letting the time pass me by said...

Anwar memang seorang yang terkenal dengan skill perdebatannya... Orang mudah lupa, he is once the DPM.cum the Finance Minister. The most senior post in the cabinet.cuma kurang selangkah lagi aje daripada PM. Sepatutnya Anwar dapat melaukkan Shabery, tetapi saya nampak, Anwar pun kadangkala goyah dengan serangan Shabery.. Anwar mempunyai segala macam advantage didalam debat ini...

saya terpaksa mengucapkan syabas kepada Shabery kerana berani berdebat dalam isu yang sangat-sangat disadvantage pada beliau.. Pada saya, Shabery tetap menang... It is a win-win situation for him...Dia seorang "novis" melawan seorang "expert"...

Dia berjaya berdepan dengan Anwar didalam isu debat yang sangat-sangat berat sebelah.. Mana ade orang yang sokong harga minyak naik... Jadi kemenangan sudah tentu pada pihak Anwar... tetapi Anwar sebaliknya gagal memberikan pukulan KO kepada Shabery dan BN..

Tapi harga minyak pun tetap kekal.. tak turun pun.. jadi apa guna kalau Anwar menang debat nie? Sekadar menang sorak aje ke?

ketam said...

Both of them are stupid.. all the facts that being laid by both of them is widely known so to me as it is all facts that we already know,then it is Anwar is the loser as he doesnt give a convincing ways in order to reduce the price.. and futhermore all he talk is hammering petronas and IPP. I wonder if anybody want to go in the industry if it involve huge capital injection and uncertainties in profit in our small market structure. Because the govenrment willing to protect then somebody willing to get in teh business.
One more thins is Anwar and PR keep on hammering PETRONAS in why the government dont take more shares in PETRONAS profit? DOnt be stupid la (jgn jadi org bodoh tolol), if all taken back by the government how then PETRONAS can compete in the business internationally?? Infact in MALAYSIA ,SHELL and EXXON MOBILE do control a larger slice of the output of the petroleum,if we punish PETRONAS is like we kill our own son and raise ANAK KERA DI HUTAN la..

I also not agreed with BADAWI with the current raise in feul but dont blame PETRONAS and their loyal and dedicated staf,blame BADAWI BODOH tu because actually we can raise the price slowly in stages as to allowed our economy and the rakyat to adjust accordingly,but with the rotten advice by not so cleaver adviser,this bullshit happened.

If people notice all the PREVIOUS ADVISORS in EPU,MTEN,MOF are been transfer or being side line since BADAWI in the reign.. ALL this once advisors to PM are the one who helps to take MALAYSIA to the world. Then come this LOSER.. with his jokers...

Gelombang Rakyat said...

Totally happy birthday to you. Next, another year of superb postings such as this and before. Congratulations!

The debate? Who ever won or lost, Malaysians in Malaysia lost, in terms of the higher price of petrol and diesel experiencing this daily...

Anonymous said...

Anwar sudah lama berpengalaman dalam menipu rakyat, minta simpati rakyat dan macam-macam lagi lah.
Memang debat tu beliau mempergunakan semua peluang yang ada untuk memikat lagi hati rakyat.

My Say