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Sunday, August 6, 2017

DAP and MCA face off in debate over Rasah seat



DAP and MCA clashed in the first debate between the two parties in five years, attracting some 500 people at Dewan Kampung Seri Mambau in Seremban, where the showdown took place.
The last debate was between DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and then MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek took place in 2012, just before the 13th general election. which received national attention.
While the debate this time was not a clash of titans like before, it was still seen as a proxy battle ahead of the 14th general election.
This is because the debaters - former DAP Youth chief Teo Kok Seong and MCA Youth legal bureau chief Ng Kiam Nam - are both expected to contest the parliamentary seat of Rasah in the next general election.
Throughout the two hours and 30 minutes debate titled "Public policy debate in Rasah", Ng sought to question Teo's track record as the constituency's incumbent MP.
"From June 2013 (when he was elected as MP) until now, 73 bills have been debated in the Parliament but the Hansard record shows that Teo was only involved in three of them.
"As an MP, he has failed to perform his main duty as a lawmaker," said Ng to loud cheers from MCA supporters.
However, Teo shot back, stating: "The amount of time I spent debating in Parliament was more than the time all seven MCA MPs spent debating together", soliciting equally loud cheers from the floor.
He explained that the federal opposition parties assign MPs to debate different bills.
Teo added that he also had to deal with constituency work, because having served as the Bahau state assemblyperson in the past, he understood the needs of the people.
"If a person rings me up for help to call an ambulance, I have to do it. This had actually happened before," he said.
Ng jumped on this, stating that Teo was not able to move from the responsibilities of a state assemblyperson to that of an MP.
He accused Teo of being an ineffective manager and one who couldn't delegate his work.
"There are four DAP state assemblypersons in Rasah. Teo should ask them to deal with such matters and he could then have time to perform his main duty as an MP, which is lawmaking," Ng said.
Cheers from the crowd grew louder every time one party took a shot at the other.
Clean government pledge
The duo also debated on policy matters, but the issue of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad leading Pakatan Harapan crept in.
Teo had promised that if Harapan won the next general election, it will ensure a clean government and also recognition for Chinese independent schools.
Ng questioned if these were possible with Mahathir helming Harapan.
"Can you put faith in Mahathir?" he asked the audience.
They also briefly touched on other issues including 1MDB, the goods and services tax and local environmental concerns.
The debate yesterday came about after a debate planned to be held last month between Teo and MCA Youth chief Chong Sin Woon failed a materialise.

In his closing speech, Ng invited Teo to another debate, in the Malay language, to reach out to non-Chinese audiences.
However, Teo declined the invitation.
"We should spend more time interacting with the voters, instead of having more debates," said Teo.
The debate ended on a friendly note with both Teo and Ng exchanging a handshake. -Mkini

1 comment:

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