Looking forward to fireworks? Commentator: debate is sensational rather than actual significance

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Photo Credit: Free Malaysia Today

Photo Credit: Free Malaysia Today

China Press 17 Mac 2017

(Kuala Lumpur 16 Mac) What kind of fireworks that will spark off during the debate

between former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir and Tourism and Culture Minister

Datuk Seri Nazri Abd Aziz scheduled on 25 Mac at Dewan Milenium in Nazri’s

parliamentary constituency of Padang Rengas?


China Press interviewed several leaders from various sectors on the debate. The

conclusion is the debate does not generate strong public interest. People do not think

that the debate would be able to resolve national issues or improve the lives of people

but merely a publicity gimmick of individual for the public to watch a show.

Current affairs commentator Phoon Wing Keong said the debate between Dr Mahathir,

who has now transformed as an opposition leader and Nazri is merely a political

sensation. The debate is seen as publicity gimmick in politics and not an important



He said despite both are good in oratory skills and quick in response, Nazri does not

hold any key position in Umno. His ministerial post is not a key ministry but a smaller in

role. Compare to political heavyweight Dr Mahathir in terms of status, position and titles

held, they are not matched. The content of the debate would not be of quality.


Dr Mahathir getting more courageous


“To Nazri, he can be gaining popularity, and no loss to Dr Mahathir too. Apart from

speaking up, both can take the opportunity to criticize Barisan Nasional and Umno, or

touch on the controversial 1MDB topic. The debate is a platform needed by both to gain

attention from the media and society.”


Phoon described that Dr Mahathir, who is 90 years old, is getting more courageous by

the day. Apart from depicting his strong will to take on battle, he also positioned himself

as the main opposition leader Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

He added that Dr Mahathir could be noticing that former Deputy Prime Minister cum

Pribumi president Tan Sri Muhyiddin and his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz (deputy president

in Pribumi) are still lacking in charisma and capability. Hence he takes on the battle



Hope to get an answer from the issues raised in the debate


SMI Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang Hua Keong is frank to say

that the debate is only a publicity of the duo. It does not cast a sound impact for the

future of the country and he does not expect to hear something solid from them.

He stressed that the focus that everyone should have now is to improve people’s life

instead of making endless turns in political issues.

However, Kesatuan Mahasiswa Malaysia deputy president Ho Chi Yang hopes to hear

from the minister some answers from issues debated, especially issues that the

government is not willing to tell the people in the last few years.

He also hopes that Tun Mahathir, who is now a leader in the oppositions, owns up his

past mistakes when he was the leader of the country, during the debate.

Citing an indirect example, he said the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971

has clipped the students’ freedom in campus for tens of years. The government has

indirectly exploited the rights of the student union. Who has created this and whose fault

is this?


For the country/people or his own dignity


Senior lawyer Chan See Yuan is curious and would like to know whether the duo is

debating for the country, for the people or for the sake of their face?

He wants to listen and witness how Dr Mahathir justifies himself. Although he is well

aware that Dr Mahathir, who is now in the opposition, would have contradicting remarks

compared to before. But he still wants to hear what Dr Mahathir would have got to say.

“Up till now, the venue and time for the debate have been finalized except for the topic,

which is the most important part. The purpose of the debate is also unclear. Judging

from here, one party may call off the debate or it would be a case of you have your say

and I have mine. Everyone gets to ‘watch a show’. In reality it does not benefit anyone

and in fact a waste of time.”


His conclusion is, the debate would not have any sound impact. It does not have any