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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Come out and debate if you dare, Zuraida throws DPM 48-hour challenge

Come out and debate if you dare, Zuraida throws DPM 48-hour challenge

PKR Zuraida Kamaruddin has challenged Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to come to Ampang to debate on the Buku Jingga in the next 48 hours, as a testament of his sincerity in helping citizens as he so claimed in his speech last night.

“I give him 48 hours to respond to my challenge to prove if he truly deserves his No. 2 rank in the government,” said Zuraida in a press statement on Wednesday.

In response to Muhyiddin’s speech on citizens’ rights to choose candidates during elections, she said the Prime Minister Najib Razak was “dried up on ideas and strategies” to control the discord within BN Selangor that he had to send his Deputy out to the field to handle it.

It also signalled that the series of discourses conducted by Ampang PKR in the past four months have left them feeling threatened, she said.

“Muhyiddin’s visit to the Ampang constituency was nothing but a gimmick that showed how nervous BN was with GE13 on the horizon, especially in Selangor constituencies,” she said.

The Ampang MP slammed Muhyiddin’s actions in exploiting government machinery to benefit political campaigns.

In his speech at a town hall meeting in Lembah Jaya, Ampang, the DPM presented the BN case to voters. Muhyiddin told the crowd of about 500 people that BN has always put the people first and as such, the obvious choice come elections is BN.

“The rakyat can choose whoever they see fit. In Selangor they have chosen the opposition... maybe they were mistaken. For almost 54 years BN has always provided allocations for the needy... and this is taken into consideration by the rakyat,” he said.

Avoiding debate with Anwar

Muhyiddin also said in view of the government’s concern for the people, the PM will soon make an announcement on a new policy to help them cope with the rising inflation.

Asked later if it was appropriate to deliver political speeches in a school hall, Muhyiddin said that it is “biasa” (normal) to speak on government policies. He said that it was not wrong as it is not an election campaign period

Nevertheless, Muhyiddin added that it was part of BN's strategy to wrest back power from Pakatan Rakyat in Selangor.

Ruling coalition BN seems to be kicking off its campaign for the GE13 early by using official government events as a platform to rally support. Muhyiddin’s walkabout in selected Selangor constituencies was an example of this.

Earlier on, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim had called Najib out for an open debate to discuss the Buku Jingga. The latter has yet to respond to his invitation.

“They should have an open debate session that is live telecast for the whole of Malaysia to watch. There is no point in the PM giving monologues without letting the opposition speak,” Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming told Malaysia Chronicle.

Many say Najib will probably not answer the call at all. Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah said that Najib is not up for it and will ignore Anwar’s invitation to debate with him.

Buku Jingga or Orange Book is the Pakatan Rakyat's blueprint of the way forward for the country. It details ten of the immediate social and economic reforms the Pakatan would implement within 100 days of wresting federal power including the abolishment of oppressive laws such as the Internal Security Act and Sedition Act.

Not the best of times for BN

BN and the Opposition coalition are currently entangled in a messy sex scandal where a video allegedly depicting Anwar Ibrahim having sex with a prostitute had recently surfaced.

The three men calling themselves Datuk T who were behind the screening of the video to members of the media and several PKR MPs have come out to confess their involvement. They have surrendered the video and an Omega watch they claim belonged to Anwar to the police.

Cries for arrest go unheeded as the trio are not under arrest at the moment. Under the Penal Code, the trio who are associated with the Umno elite have committed crimes for disseminating pornographic material, impersonation of a person, and invasion of privacy.

In the latest development of the case, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz had called for protection for the trio – Rahim Thamby Chik, Shazryl Eskay Abdullah, and Shuib Lazim – under the Whistleblower Act and Witness Protection Act.

Things are not looking too good for the BN government as the Sarawak state elections are just around the corner. Issues of Taib’s squandering of state wealth, the defacing of Malay-language Bibles used mostly by BM-speaking Sarawakian Christians, and the closing of an eye to the Penan rapes are expected to cause a political tsunami in the Opposition’s favour. - Malaysia Chronicle

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