Guan Eng’s Uncensored Debate With Soi Lek

Published On July 5, 2012 |

Malaysia’s army of conspiracy theorists are crying “censorship” over the decision not to show Sunday’s debate between Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and Lim Guan Eng live on television. The first debate between the DAP and MCA leader in February was shown live thus triggering murmurings about why this one isn’t.

This has forced the debate organisers, the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute, to defend the arrangements.

Asli’s senior vice president Ng Yeen Seen pointed out it will be seen on both Astro AEC and Astro Awani at 11pm with Chinese and Bahasa subtitles respectively. And it will also be streamed on Youtube within 15 minutes of the event. “It’s not possible to have censorship in this era and we also don’t encourage it,” Ng said.

Indeed, could that have been a cheeky barb aimed at the master of censorship himself Lim Guan Eng?

Guan Eng has done everything he can to snuff out dissent since the last debate including hounding from DAP former vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim. The Malay elder statesman didn’t get the chance to debate Guan Eng, whom he dared to oppose over the Bersih 3.0 rally.

The Chief Minister has also banned journalists from Utusan Malaysia and the New Straits Times from covering the affairs of his Penang state administration.

No debate was allowed on that decision either.

Soi Lek has more to gain and less to lose than Guan Eng when they trade verbal blows face-to-face for the second time.

There is no doubt the former psychiatrist and his MCA have played second fiddle to Guan Eng’s DAP in the years since 2008. But now Soi Lek is starting to look rejuvenated, and a one-on-one debate gives him an equal platform with the DAP Secretary General who has so dominated Chinese politics in Malaysia.

Critics of the first encounter slammed the way it descended into a Pakatan versus BN proverb-trading match.

Sunday’s debate is entitled “BN and PR: Whose policies benefit the community more?” and we would like to see the candidates stick to a discussion about policies.

Soi Lek can articulate and defend BN’s policies in government. Guan Eng can convince us that the policies he wants in Government have been mutually reached by the divided Pakatan parties – and if he has time after that, advocate them.

It promises to be fascinating viewing. –The Choice