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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

No direct public Q&A for Chua-Lim debate 2.0

Floor participants will not be able to pose direct questions in the second round of the debate between MCA president Chua Soi Lek and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng as the organiser is drawing up a new format.

azlanAnnouncing it at a press conference this afternoon, organiser Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) chief Michael Yeoh said the participants will need to either submit their questions beforehand or write it on a card.

He said the decision was made as there were accusations of biasness and unfairness on the Q&A session in the previous debate.
The last face-off between Lim and Chua on Feb 18 had seen numerous complaints from DAP members over their not being given the chance to pose question despite having waited for a long time. 

NONEIt was the same Q&A session where little known MCA politician Jessie Ooi (right) has become an unwitting ‘star’ overnight and earned herself the moniker of‘Ms Tow Truck’for a fiery question she posed to Lim on the Penang government’s policies.

The debate, themed ‘Debate 2.0: DAP and MCA: Whose policies benefit the country more?’, will be held at Sunway Convention Centre, Sunway Pyramid on July 8.
Conducted in English, the debate will last two hours, which is double the time of the previous debate.

Yeoh said he expect the debaters to cover areas such as education, healthcare, economic prosperity, community service, national unity, public welfare and poverty alleviation. 

Explaining the choice of topic today, Yeoh said there is a greater need to focus on public policy discussion as the general election looms.

“To bring our politics to a different level we have to debate on issues and public policies, rather than being emotional and criticising certain individuals,” he said. 

When asked whether the title will spark another round of the usual political rhetoric from Chua and Lim, Yeoh said certain elements of political selling are inevitable. 

“I think it is unavoidable for Chua to sell MCA and for Lim to talk about DAP. But it depends on the debater. 

“I will also advise them to stick to the topic,” he said. 

Asked again why the debate topic singles out DAP and MCA instead of their affiliated coalitions, he explained that it is just a continuation of the previous topic. 

Tickets priced at RM88 each

Unlike the last debate, a three-member panel consisting of leading academicians and editors from newspapers will be formed to observe the debate and pose questions.

“This will be similar in nature to the American presidential debates whereby professional panellists can pose questions,” he said. 

He, however, stressed that that panellists must be non-partisan and acceptable to both the debaters. 

Meanwhile, seats allocated for members of public, numbering 500 in total, have been priced at RM88 each this time; whereas party delegates from MCA and DAP will be allocated between 400 and 500 seats, with the detail being finalised soon. 

The tickets can be purchased via Asli at             03-2093 5396      starting on Friday June 1 on a first-come first-served basis. 

The NGO is also negotiating with several television stations for a live telecast.

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