Anwar Ibrahim / Umno & Barisan Nasional

Johan Pertandingan Debat Kebangsaan jatuh kepada…

Anwar Ibrahim!

But only by a whisker…

But it’s a no brainer really since I know that Anwar is a good orator.

However, I’m glad to say that the speakers did not overly succumbed themselves to spew rhetorics all over the place (although I did wish Shabery could wipe his mouth once in awhile). And my little hope that the debate would be an informative and exciting one did quite come true. Kudos to both speakers.

First, lets start with Shabery Cheek. He started off well. But somewhere in the middle, he lost focus. He did not even answer a question by Zulfkifli Sulong’s first question convincingly. The question was simple – what happened to the amount of RM4 billion saved from the increase of fuel price in 2006 and the purported RM13 billion saved in last month’s increase of fuel price? He went off topic and failed to answer it correctly. Good dodging technique I supposed. The 4th floor boys should have prepared him for this.

I know I should not judge the man harshly because he is a newbie in the cabinet. First time minister. But he disappoints me when he would launch a personal attack on Anwar Ibrahim everytime he was unable to debate a certain point credibly. But on the other hand, Anwar, with all the skeletons in his closet was an easy target for Shahbery’s personal attacks on him. Anwar could only smile or tap his forehead everytime Shahbery launch these attacks on him.

When Anwar wanted to highlight the IPP issue, Shabery could have easily refuted Anwar’s claim by saying that at that time, the beneficiaries of the lop sided agreement between TNB and the IPPs were companies well connected to Anwar i.e., Malakoff etc. Shabery also could have easily invalidated Anwar’s claim that the government does not care about the people by mentioning the many incentives the government had given to the people since the general election.

To cut the story short, Shabery’s failure in this debate epitomizes the quality in Pak Lah’s administration. Maybe he should just resigned since he could not defend his boss’ flip flop decisions.

Next, Anwar Ibrahim. He started off well, and ended it well. Too bad it was only an hour’s show. I’m quite surprised that Anwar did not launch into an endless tirade of speeches unrelated to the topic at hand. There were moments where he dwelled too much on the inefficiencies and mismanagement of the current government but I guess he deserved to gloat about it because during his day, under the stewardship of Dr Mahathir, the government had managed the economy rather efficiently. And to quote him “we are now comparing ourselves to Venezuela, Somalia, Iran etc when in the 90’s we are at par with Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea”.

Anwar was spot on when he said he does not criticise Petronas. To him, Petronas is doing a marvellous job. It was the BN government whom he is criticising. I could not agree more with that statement. It is ironic that Anwar is defending Petronas while people like KJ and his minions are openly criticising Petronas and wanting them to make public their already publicized accounts. My previous article about Pak Lah backstabbing the nation should also apply to KJ.

If Umno lets KJ to rule them all, it would be like handing him a knife/keris to stab the whole nation at the back.

Okay, continue on. Anwar however, was not quite right when wanting to reduce the price of fuel to RM2.20 per litre. In his calculations, RM5 billion is needed for this (he did not say how he derived at this amount). He would slash the 40% reserve capacity of TNB and renegotiate the IPP agreements. That would save him about RM2 billions. Then, he would take RM1 billion from Petronas’ special dividend payout to subsidize the price cut further.

This is a very, very short term and simple way out which will have a negative impact on the economy. I assume the RM5 billion is the amount to be subsidized further on top of the already heavily subsidized fuel price for this year alone. Assuming the fuel price remain constant next year, another extra RM5 billion is needed to maintain next year’s fuel price. Do we need to further cut the reserve capacity of TNB? Do we need to have another round of renegotiation with the IPPs? I’m sure Anwar would have other ideas from where to find the money when the time comes.

But my point is, Anwar should not come out with plans that is just merely “taking money from left pocket and put it in the right pocket”. He should have thought it in a much bigger picture. He should increase the personal income tax of the rich, create national buffer of fuel stock (very much like rice buffer), and find ways to increase the income of the nation through foreign direct investments. As it is, the FDI of the country is decreasing due to lack of leadership from the current government.

These measures sound simplistic but they have their merits.  And it is way better and more responsible than to simply provide immediate relief to the people without buffering the nation’s income to supplement the increase in cost of living. That is akin to the style of Pak Lah’s administration.

As a conclusion, I still feel that the debate is pointless. What do we have in the end? The fuel price is still RM2.70, Pak Lah’s cabinet ministers are all unable to fend their own decision, all economic advisers of the government failed in doing their jobs, Anwar reaffirmed that he is just a populist leader without any clear and viable economic gameplan, and Pak Lah is still the Prime Minister we wish we never had.

On another note, as I write this, Anwar Ibrahim was just arrested near his home with about 20 men wearing ski masks. I find this appalling to say the least. The police seems to never learn their lesson. Why do they need to have up to 20 men wearing ski masks to arrest him? Anwar is not an ordinary criminal. He is an extraordinary ex-criminal. The matter could have been done in a more friendly and proper way. Syed Hamid Albar needs to resign for the lack of tact and subtlety. Musa Hassan should be demoted to become a constable in the process.


23 thoughts on “Johan Pertandingan Debat Kebangsaan jatuh kepada…

  1. Helo JMD,

    Glad you’re back. Though I’m not a fan of Anwar,
    I agree with you.
    He has not lost his touch and is still the best
    orator so far.
    It’s a pity he ended up the anti-hero.

    As for his opponent, Shabery, do you think
    he’ll lost his job after this?
    Or maybe he’ll be made a Tan Sri at the next
    Agong’s birthday.
    Anything can happen in Abdullah’s cabinet.

    Did you say Anwar is made a jailbird again?
    I suppose bad habits die hard. Well, he’s asking for it.
    According to his lawyer, Anwar was irked that the police
    did not ask him properly to make himself present
    for questioning on Monday the 14th.
    Can you believe this guy?
    Maybe he wanted to make a cameo appearance
    at the debate last night and then ride into the
    sunset … ( jail?!!).
    God only knows.

    JMD : Thanks Sujini. Anwar was not his best that night but he still floored Shahbery hands down.


  2. welcome back. I agreed with you that the debate is pointless. But let’s hope that it will lead to other more beneficial debates in future ( one that allow real debates on the government policy – one that leads to rakyat’s view taken into account in the policies).

    BTW, following the arrest today and the RP case tomorrow, where are we heading?

    It’s quite worrying.


  3. Your last paragraph depicts your sense of fairplay and leads me to believe that beneath your hard stance, in many blog entries, lies a soft heart.

    JMD : Thank you. But having a soft heart has its downside sometimes 🙂


  4. you are right again! Shaberry just showed to the world how stupid is Pak Lah cabinet line-up. Shahir in TV3 morning news today comment ” WHY anwar talks about petrol only, he is not honest. he should also mention about diesel too.” AND i was like “dumbfounded”. lucky we have shaberry. at least he did not fumble. If this was given to shahir he would have said “you are right anwar, can i join PR?”
    still.. this is a pointless debate. it’s like reading a story when I was in standard six about 10 blind men describing an elephant.


  5. Have you read the deputy home minister’s remark in the star online: what is the difference of 20 minutes and 50 minutes?

    ????? In this case, a lot!


  6. It was a bad judgment call by the police to arrest Anwar with 20 men in ski mask.

    It is really baffling that something as sensitive as the arrest as of Anwar was not planned with a bit of subtlety.

    I am just floored by the stupidity. We had Shabery against Anwar, that was a dumb move. Now we have an overkill by the Police.

    I heaved a deep sigh when i read the news.

    JMD : Ditto!


  7. Will.they arrested Anwar as just thought he going to hide in the house?I think polis over reacted whole thing,I beleive anwar will go to IPK as in video mentioned.Just after a night he throw oil rebate on present goverment,he go to jail again,pity him,a old man at 61,I think most Malaysia does think this is a set up,to counter politic uncertainty.

    Folks,either if you pro Tun or BN,we have mercy for those who willing gamble their live for rakyat daring enough criticized present goverment,either if you dont like anwar,now,what exchanged here left our nation have lost 1 leader who can check and balance what clean governance is.

    And they throw him in jail…and going to pick RPK .you all folks happy now? who will continue to fight for us free?


  8. hi
    im sorry as i write my comment in malay and half englisch.

    rasenye 5bilion pertama tu ialah langkah awal. dan utk tanggungan seterusnye, mungkin anwar akan ambil kira langkah2 spt yg saudara cadangkan di atas.

    dan sy masih tertanya2 kenapa kerajaan hanya menghantar menteri tanpa latar belakang yg sesuai,dan bukannya menteri yg mempunyai latar belakang perniagaan atau pakar2 perihal minyak.

    paling kurang, ketua kerajaan sendiri yg perlu turun.
    ini bukan keputusan menteri penerangan utk menaikkan harge minyak.

    dan perihal tangkapan anwar, sy pening dgn permainan
    politik murahan.
    big up, kalau salah go on face to face.

    akhir skali, sy bukanlah ahli politik atau penganalisa professional.
    u can expect kesalahan n kekurangan dlm pndgn saya.

    terima kasih.

    JMD : Thank you so much for your opinion.


  9. Don’t we have any politician at all who can sit down and think about the rakyat. Everyday is politics. This anwar arrest, now RPK arrest, the parliament chaos, the gathering of PR at IPK, the UMNO internal bickering are all causing panic everywhere. Cant these people just see it??? The economy is going down the drain like a waterfall, investors running away, inflation going up rapidly, food are scarce and expensive, jobs are few. BUT nobody, no one, is thinking about it. IAM JUST FED UP WITH THIS GOVERNMENT. THIS IS BY FAR THE REAL SCREWED UP GOVERNMENT WE EVER HAVE. PEOPLE LIKE KJ, EZAM, NAJIB, PAKLAH, MAT TAIB, SYED HAMID, NAZRI AND SHAHRIR, WHO ARE FILLING THE NEWSPAPER EVERYDAY WITH THEIR POLITICS SHOULD ALL RESIGN AND JUST GO TO HELL.


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    The Pakistani Spectator


  11. Though the manner of arrest was unnecessary, it was Anwar himself who wanted to play the game the hard way. It would have been so simple if he turned up a few days ago. He is acting like the special one.
    And Anwar’s arrest was also brought up in parliament, with Azmin accused the police of being “kebinatangan”, but refused to label that the police are animals. What was the difference?
    Whatever consequence comes next, it will be used to show that Anwar has been mistreated and justice IS NOT served.
    If Anwar were really innocent, he should have all the strength and confidence to face the allegation, but he was not acting like one.
    I just pray for the truth to prevail.


  12. Ski masks??! That’s funny. And you are a funny guy, too, I must say.

    Just like in the debate, maybe our MPs should also be ‘timed’ in the parliament to prevent them from ‘meracau tak tentu hala’.

    I wish the Government took Anwar seriously bcos if they did, they would not have thrown Shabery into the pit almost naked of any defence. I wish the Government is led by a person who thinks hard before making any decision, instead of someone who blindly allows himself to be led by his greedy flock. I am a wishful thinker….

    Nowadays, I am glad I can’t remember all the Government lies printed in the papers since a few years back…


  13. I must say Shabery wasn’t a fight for Anwar. I agree with you that he didn’t have much point to say. He may have thought it’s an easy one but was taken by surprised any way. I don’t know how that could happen since everybody know Anwar is a great speaker. His match should have been Tun Mahathir or Mukhriz or Najib. Nevertheless I must give credit to him for the courage although he appear to have messed up a bit especially at the right side of his mouth. I wonder where were the other more senior ministers? They only showed up after the debate?
    I congratulate Pak Lah also for being more open and democratic. It shows that he have trust in the rakyat to listen, be able to understand and evaluate the debate openly. I’m no fan of either but I’ll say Pak Lah wins on this for opening a new chapter in Malaysia.
    As for Anwar, I did notice he were quite nervous at the beginning and kind of lost in words now and then unrelated to the personal attacks by Shabery.
    Almost everybody watched the debate and it’s unwise of Shabery to deny he did personal attacks on Anwar as that is too clear a lie. If you didn’t make it last night, you try make it tomorrow and whatever it is he was already better than those other hiding ministers but don’t lie.
    Watching the post debate programe was enlightening as well. I do want to know in more detail the plans Anwar put forward and wished the debate was made longer. I also wished someone stronger than Shabery was the opponent so that Anwar’s proporsal gets a stronger challenge. The VC Tan Sri wasn’t a help though as he was too much obsessed in making humiliating remarks than challenging the idea intellectually which I was expecting.
    As of our police action movie stint, I must say our police needs much more common sense. The road blocks to stop the rally at the parliament also was unnecessary. How on earth can you identify people going to the rally or going someone else if the people already know you’re holding road blocks? They don’t put head bands from 10 or 20kms away. Nowadays, they wear the bands and T shirts near the rally sites. The benefit from such practises is the public will blame the rally goers for the traffic jams they have to endure. Probably it’s learnt from the Germans who execute French villagers so that the villagers will blame the French resistance. No…it can’t be that rediculous.


  14. Most convincing performance = Anwar

    Fastest to attack = Shabery

    Oratory skills = Anwar

    Out of focus = Shabery

    Substance = none

    political / national issue ? = both politics first

    Objective achieved = No, absolutely ….oil price still high.>! ha!ha!


  15. Interesting review JMD as always.

    “Shabery’s failure in this debate epitomizes the quality in Pak Lah’s administration”…

    Have you ever wonder that the debate should have been between Anwar and the Prime Minister or at the very least the Finance Minister. The main title of the debate should have been ‘We had no balls Prime Minister’ which was not debated in the parliament earlier that day.

    I kept asking myself, “Why Information Minister had to be answerable for the fuel hike while the Finance Minister was busy making love to his pillow?”

    I know a lot of people said it was the win for democratic process in this country, but I saw it as a carefully staged circus, ‘two gladiators in the coliseum’, an old diversion tactic used by the Ceaser of Rome to keep the crowd amused and forget about the real issue. True enough, this week everybody was talking about this debate and forgotten about the urgency to kick Mr. Flip Flop down the stairs.

    However, Shabery gave a good fight considering he was not a heavyweight and as expected Anwar was thrown to the lion the very next day.

    The real winner was Pak Lah because once again people praised him for his openness and tolerance. He is becoming as powerful as the Emperor of Rome.

    JMD : Thank you for the comment and assessment. We should not lose focus in our effort to pressure our prime minister slash dictator.


  16. salam jmd,

    how could the ruling govt give Anwar any TV time debating with one of their cabinet ministers on a national issue, when he is not even an elected MP? a nobody actually. and furthermore to debate with a Minister that is not even in charged of the relevant ministry in relation to the topic discussed?

    it is weak politicking from the present govt to allow him any air time or perhaps now we know who the actual ‘de facto’ leader of the country really is?


  17. I don’t agree with “taking money from left pocket and put it in the right pocket” statement. It is not taking from left to right pocket, but taking leaked money from left to and put into right pocket.

    Although it sounds like short-term solution, but still it save us some amount of money rather than that leaked money falls into other bloody shark predator.


  18. I was neutral but now more incline to listen to PR talks.

    I first met Shabery when he was the president of PBMUM and was a debater then. Thats the reason he was bold enough to take the old man who was left to rot for 6 years in prison. He knew no minister dare to debate with Anwar(Anwar was the the principle at Yayasan Anda) during Shabery days in the varsity as all the debates initially agreed by the ministers were canceled at the wee hours.

    The debate gave satisfaction to the public, a hope to the people that an alternative government has plans to solve the current problem. As Anwar had stated the 50 sen decrease with the possible sources were for immediate action once they rule. They had to get from other sources and other ways for long term measures. He had other ways to solve the high fuel rise and he was just concentrating on the topic.

    At the moment the present government is not introducing effective control measures to curb the repercussion of the fuel hike. Therefore the solution offered by PR is something that we should think.


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