Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Star Online : Sunday August 3, 2008

Chew-Tian Chua debate highlights power issue

KUALA LUMPUR: The debate between MCA's Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and PKR's Tian Chua on the current political scenario touched on power struggle and the possible crossover of politicians.
During the debate, which was conducted in Mandarin and held at Wisma MCA here on Friday night, the audience also participated by giving their views on current issues in Malaysia, including the talks between Umno and PAS, the development gap between the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak, and many other topics.
For and against: Chew speaking during the debate with Tian Chua at Wisma MCA on Friday night. Guests included a political analyst and a lawyer.
Chew, the Wanita MCA deputy chief, said Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat should place priority on serving the people, adding that having a two-party system could serve as a check and balance.
“Be it Barisan or Pakatan, the only way (to deal with this) is to look after the people's interest – Malaysians at large, without stressing on ethnicity,” she said.
Chew also said power struggle had led to chaos in the current political situation and that people were worried and frustrated.
She said the current political scenario was changing all the time.
“After the general election, one should settle down and move on, not plan to wrest power or change the government within three months by getting politicians to cross over,” she said.
Chew said that if party-hopping were allowed, voters would not know if the votes they had cast were for the party they had chosen in the first place.
Chua said chaos in the current political situation was due to the frequent change of policies.
Citing an example, he said the ruling party announced that fuel price would not be increased and yet it did.
“It has no relation to power struggle or who wants to be president of a political party but rather with the fear and anxiety of politicians in the ruling party. They are fearful that they may lose power at any time. They are no longer confident that they will have power for another 50 years,” he said.
The debate, moderated by TV newscaster Victor Gu, was also joined by guests – political analyst Jamaluddin Ibrahim, commentator Dr Ei Sun Oh, MCA’s Chang Sin Woon and Carol Chew, lawyer Leon Lu, journalist Kuek Ser Kuang Keng, university student Foo Yong Kian and former Universiti Malaya debate champion Chin Shin Liang.

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