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Anwar - Ahmad Shabery live TV debate ends with no winner

Written By kadayan chronicles on Tuesday, 15 July 2008 | 09:23

NST Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Tues: The historic and widely anticipated debate on fuel prices between Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek and PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim proceeded smoothly tonight at Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka, the first time an Opposition leader debated with a Cabinet Minister on live TV. However, the organisers did not declare a winner of the debate.

Both leaders pushed their party-centric agenda: Ahmad Shabery defended the sudden fuel price hikes as inevitable while Anwar promised a 50 sen slash if his Pakatan Rakyat alliance was in power.

The unprecedented debate was moderated by former Utusan Malaysia editor-in-chief and NST columnist Datuk Johan Jaafar. The topic of the debate was “Form a government today, fuel prices will decrease tomorrow.”

The debate was well-coordinated and the time keeping strictly enforced by Johan, with both leaders getting no leeway but did not also try to scrape for more time.

Anwar started his argument by maintaining that if his Pakatan Rakyat alliance was in power, fuel prices would be slashed by 50 sen to RM2.20.

He claimed that the spike in fuel price was recommended by the World Bank.

He concluded that Malaysia’s fuel price hike was too much and too high, and cannot be compared to other countries like Venezuela.

"There is a breakpoint in oil prices where it may stop climbing and start dwindling,” he said.

Anwar called for a review of the Government contracts with independent power producers, claiming that under the current conditions now, they profited more than Petronas.

He questioned the premise that Malaysian oil wells will dry up by 2015, saying that with proper drilling capacity, Petronas can prolong the lives of the oil wells.

Anwar warned that if the Government does not do anything to alleviate the burden of the people affected by the high oil prices, the economy will deteriorate within three months and unemployment will skyrocket.

He finished by injecting some political statement. “Accusatory lies have limits and God willing, I will contest in a by-election soon,” he said to applause by his supporters inside the hall where the debate took place.

Ahmad Shabery dismissed Anwar’s promise as a populist and impractical move.

"Anwar, like when he was a student leader in the 1970s, was more comfortable staging street demonstrations rather than coming out with concrete proposals to check the inflationary crisis,” he said.

In closing, Shabery criticised Anwar for his opposition stance, citing that he challenged the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein when he formed Petronas and also challenged former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he improved Petronas’ performance.

"Despite the gloomy outlook, our country is better off than most countries with an anticipated six per cent growth this year,” he said.

Ahmad Shabery also took a political dig on Anwar, saying that if Anwar had been in power, open debates such as these would never have been allowed.


Dusun-Non-Grata - Huh! |2008-07-16 08:33:06
No clear winner kunun. Si Ahmad Shabery tu kinapa yang balik-balik lari tajuk.

Tia paranah berdebat ka? orang debat pasal petrol dia debat pasal anwar - itu balum lagi masuk suara dia bagagar-gagar macam sompoton picah.
bagitu punya nervous
Aiyah --- aku cakap, anwar menang malam tu

Pangait - Anwar Manang |2008-07-16 17:35:33
Bini sia bilang, dia gali air liur siShabery disiring bibir dia, dia jilat balik2. Pangutur.
Anwar tatap manang sabab dia keep to topic. Shabery ambil peluang kutuk orang ja.
paradian - Anwar menang Debat,Shabery menang buih mulut macam |2008-07-31 13:21:50
Nilah kebanyakan pak mentiri BN penakut-penakut susah sangat kah nak berterus terang pasal agihan ptronas kepda krjaan.Saya kutuk shabery tak layak jadi wakil BN untuk berdebat dengan Anwar.Shabery kalah..kalah..Boooooo!

Roger Mila - debat mulut |2008-08-08 07:24:30
mulut berbuih nafas pun berbau busuk, pakailah ubat gigi untuk menyegarkan nafas dan agar mulut tak berbuih heee
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