14 May 2022

Merah padam muka bossku...

Win or lose? Immaterial...

Describing open live debates as a hallmark of a modern democracy, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said it is an “opportunity for leaders to lay out issues and suggestions to allow the people to decide who has better solutions”.

He told The Vibes that future debates should not come with conditions or off-limit subjects as last night’s clash with former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak saw “taboo” subjects such as the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal and other ongoing court cases.

“If we did not agree to those conditions, the debate would not have taken place. Which was why I had to agree, otherwise the debate would not have happened. “For meaningful debates to take place in the future, such conditions should be done away with.”

Still, Anwar said debates are “not about who was the better debater or who won the night but one that laid out issues plaguing the country for a long time”.

“The debate and discourse should continue among the people as they are more aware of some of the issues and can come up with suggestions for solutions of their own. After all, healthy discussions should be encouraged for a more informed and proactive society.”

However, he said he was disappointed that last night’s debate was not held at Universiti Malaya. “I am disappointed that Universiti Malaya, my alma mater, did not think it suitable to have the debate there. UM used to lead as an institution for open discourse and gatherings, from the speaker’s corner to student activism. 

“Nevertheless, I hope this is not the last time political leaders are given a platform to debate each other on issues that concern the rakyat.” Previously, student activist Fahmi Zainol alleged that the student union faced roadblocks in its attempt to host the debate.

Meanwhile, Najib shared that he did not have a good night’s sleep for a week leading up to last night’s debate, but did his best and saw it as a victory for Umno.

After the clash with Anwar ended, he was speaking to more than 300 supporters who were part of a viewing party at the Umno headquarters here after being greeted with chants of “Hidup Bossku”. 

“I have tried my best as I represent Umno. We are on the right track and our ideas are more thoughtful than the other side. We have the right philosophy for the people.” He also took a swipe at Anwar over repeated comments on “forensic audits”, saying it was not a great idea to champion “forensic” while Najib champions the people.

For the most part of the 90-minute event, Anwar highlighted root causes and the need for transparency and more accountability while Najib attempted to table solutions to the country’s economic woes.

And although the troubled oil and gas company Sapura Energy took centre stage in the first segment of the debate, much of the debate was on the country’s post-Covid-19 recovery, good governance, and nation-building.

Among the highlights of the occasion was Anwar shooting down Najib’s proposal for national oil company Petronas to buy over Sapura Energy, instead insisting on forensic audits and greater scrutiny of the financially distressed firm. - the Vibes

What is Anwar's game?...

What was opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim thinking of when he agreed to take part in the debate with the convicted felon, former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak?

Najib is setting the stage for a political comeback, but what is Anwar's plan? He was foolish to give political legitimacy to the world's greatest kleptocrat. Najib has been investigated, charged and sentenced for his role in the 1MDB scandal. Najib belongs in Sungai Buloh, whilst Anwar should step down.

If Anwar was desperate for a sparring partner in debates, that person should have been Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Ismail Sabri controls the nation's purse strings. He instructs his Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz and money is made available. Ismail Sabri is the decision-maker, not Najib. Or are people speculating that Najib is the puppet master, and is the one controlling Ismail Sabri's strings?

Most of us disapproved of the Anwar-Najib debate, which was first mooted in early April when PKR's vice-president Rafizi Ramli invited Najib to debate the Sapura Energy bail-out.

Desperate to rebuild reputation

Najib dangled the carrot and told Rafizi he would take part in the debate only if Anwar joined too. Najib is desperate to rebuild his reputation, which lies in tatters after his conviction in the SRC International scandal. He is eager to influence public opinion. He pops up at election hustings, schools, buka puasa events and recently, the palace. He does not care that he brings down the reputation of those whom he meets.

This debate was a distraction. Will Malaysians realise that this is not a popularity contest? This is not a game show where there are winners and losers. There are real issues at stake and in this debate, what each person said, or suggests, about saving Sapura, or the downtrodden rakyat, means very little, especially as the one who calls the shots is now in Washington, trying to communicate with the American president, Joe Biden.

How did this debate change the life of Makcik Kiah, or the poor pakcik who is struggling to make ends meet?

Najib is addicted to fame. He believes every word that is generated by his own publicity machine. He is a master manipulator and he had a good mentor - former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Anwar was wrong to give Najib extra publicity. Is he oblivious to Najib's cunning? Anwar accepted Najib's bait instead of giving him the cold shoulder.

No one can advise Anwar, as he only listens to his own counsel. After the debate, Najib will continue to have a dig at Anwar, and with his social media presence, has the potential to do Anwar lasting damage. It has already started.

When Najib met his supporters at the Putra World Trade Centre, he had already fashioned himself as the "people's champion", as opposed to Anwar, the "forensic champion". Najib, the self-styled "people's champion", is still focused on playing the race card. He wants Malaysians to think that it is his destiny to "save" the Malays.

Sapura must be rescued

Like Ismail Sabri, Najib does not want to risk upsetting the Malay electorate this GE15 because Sapura is a bumiputera company and must be rescued.

He wants us to think that if Sapura were allowed to go bust, its sub-contracting firms that are bumiputra owned would have to sack their workers. He said that Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) holders could lose billions of ringgit.

What about Malaysians of other ethnic origins in non-bumiputera companies that also need help during these troubled times? What was Najib thinking when he said if Petronas were to save Sapura, the rescue bid would not cost the taxpayer any money? Does he not realise that Petronas is owned by the rakyat? It is not the personal kitty of prime ministers, although they have constantly raided it. Any rescue attempt by Petronas means that the taxpayer will be funding the bail-out.

PNB bailed out Sapura to the tune of RM2.68 billion in 2019, and acquired a 40 percent stake in the firm. After PNB, Sapura Energy’s second-largest shareholder is its former president, Shahril Shamsuddin, who controls 13.91 percent of the company.

Shahril mismanaged the company and now Najib wants us to save him again. Why throw more good money after bad? Shahril and his board members enjoyed fat salaries and huge perks when times were good. They became complacent and took their eyes off the ball. They became reckless with how they ran Sapura.

The ordinary rakyat gained nothing from company mismanagement and political interference. We are fed up with our money being confiscated to help crony companies. The rakyat is struggling and it is not fair to the taxpayer when big companies like Sapura are offered a lifeline. Who will help Ali, Ah Fatt, or Arumugam when they struggle financially? Many Malaysian households are more deserving of aid than one company, Sapura.

Lives have already been changed when family members who contracted Covid-19 became very ill and could not work, or died. It is worse when breadwinners are affected, or when businesses are forced to close forever.

The one thing of value that came from Najib was when he said that Malaysia should emulate South Korea, with major global corporate players such as Samsung and Hyundai. Why didn't Anwar remind Najib that in South Korea, corruption is the single most important issue in their domestic politics and corrupt presidents are swiftly investigated and jailed as soon as they are sentenced? - Mariam Mokhtar

Sorry Mariam Mokhtar. I have supported you 100 percent before but not this time. No one should tell Anwar Ibrahim to step down. Together with Lim Kit Siang, both of them still relevant and appreciated for their sacrifice and valuable comments of national and Malaysian interest. This Najib and Anwar debate was very enlightening. It showed the heart of both. I hope more debates will follow now that GE15 is around the corner, hopefully next year. 

Anwar was people centric where else Najib was corporate centric. Why spent on bail outs when the money could be better spent on flood mitigation projects that will benefit the rakyat? Anwar does not say don't bail out. More importantly he says, a forensic audit should be a prority first to prevent future bailouts. Najib on the other hand came across as a hypocrite, his vision for Malaysia laughable after he is well known globally as a robber of duit rakyat and kleptocrate.

1MDB financial scandal would not have happen without Najib. It will take a long time for Malaysia to recover from his actions. Hopefully from the debates, all Malaysians eyes, ears and mind be open and accepting of Anwar Ibrahim's vision for Malaysia of good governance, competent free of corruption and abuse of power of all government institutions , vote for PH and vote for Anwar Ibrahim at next GE15. - WhiteRabbit1700

Coming to the decision of Anwar agreeing to debate Najib, it's like damn you do, and damn you don't. If Anwar had not debated, Najib has grounds to broadcast that Anwar is having cold feet. I'm positive that people have some idea about Sapura's mismanagement, especially someone walking away with 2+ Billion.However way you slice it, the debate opened a few holes and people are now curious why Najib is backing Sapura. People know who to believe.- Prominority

The whole world knows Najib is a convict. He is being given prominence by the media and you as well. Are you going to raise your ire with mkini,one of your paymasters and yourself? Of course not. He is Umnos mouthpiece currently not that Sabri fella. If you and Anwar protagonist think keeping quiet and ignoring Najib son of Razak will make him go away ,you don't have a clue what's going on in the ground.

He is going around giving speeches at business forums, elections, dining with royalty and you want ph to remain silent? In the cut throat world you must watch your enemies every move not let them run loose. Najib had nothing but the cash is king mantra n playing to the gallery yesterday. He didn't address the sapura debacle he intends to dig a bigger hole . He did not talk about inflation when the matter was raised to him . 

If Malaysians of a certain segment of society want to vote for him n his ilk after his performance,so be it . The country is doomed. Those who at least are standing up to him with their hands tied to their back deserve a fair go . 6 months in politics is a long time. The clock starts now to save the country with right thinking Malaysians taking the lead. - VP Biden

On the bright side..it showed the thief was nothing more than just hot air. Always shot his own foot yesterday..talking nonsense and no bright ideas.. - The Conscience

For Anwar haters, whatever he does will be wrong, whatever he doesn’t do will also be wrong. Out there , many detest the current frog government and equally many are worried about a Najib-Zahid led Umno winning the next GE, yet they go about shooting themselves in their feet by non-stop running down Anwar and PKR. - Justmyview


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