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Friday, 17 February 2012

Is the Two-Party-Sytem becoming a Two-Race-System? Online spars started before Chua-Lim debate!

 All systems go for the showdown

IT'S all systems go as temperatures rise for the showdown between MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek and DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng at the Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow (Feb 18, 2012)

The rules and format have been finalised for their debate on the topic: Is the Two-Party System Becoming a Two-Race System?

The debate in Mandarin will be aired live on Astro AEC (Channel 301) and repeated at 11pm on Saturday. Non-Mandarin speakers can also watch the debate in Bahasa Malaysia on Astro Awani(Channel 501). It can also be watched via live streaming on

About 600 seats have been allocated at the venue, including 200 each for MCA and DAP. The debate is jointly organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute and MCA think-tank Insap.

Battle of wits between Chua and Lim to be aired live on television


 KUALA LUMPUR: The showdown that will see MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng engage in a battle of wits will be similar to the US presidential election debate.

Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) director and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Michael Yeoh told The Star, however, that although the duel would resemble the American debate, this had been adapted to the local setting.

“All parties have agreed upon important matters like the seat allocation and structure of the debate,” Dr Yeoh said, adding that the 200 seats set aside for each political party would remain.

The one-hour debate titled “Is the two-party system becoming a two-race system?” starts at 5pm tomorrow.

Both Dr Chua and Lim will draw lots to determine who speaks first and they will then be allowed a few minutes to give their opening remarks on the topic.

After that, both speakers will be asked to answer one question posed by the moderator – historian and Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall chief executive officer Tan Ah Chai.

Shortly after, both speakers will field questions from the audience. They will then have the opportunity to give some closing remarks.

The debate will be conducted in Mandarin and will be aired live on Astro AEC (Channel 301).

In the channel’s special edition of News Talk, host Siow Hui Mei will facilitate a pre-debate panel discussion 30 minutes before its start.

A replay will be televised at 11pm the same day.

Viewers can catch the debate translated into Bahasa Malaysia on Astro Awani (Channel 501). They can also watch a live streaming of the programme via Astro’s BDQ website (

Speaking experts give tips to Chua and Lim


PETALING JAYA: Dress right, keep a cool head, inject some humour and maintain eye contact.

These are some of the tips from public speaking experts to MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as they face each other in the upcoming debate tomorrow.

According to them, the manner in which both men address issues affecting the nation will have far-reaching influence on how the public perceive their leadership, vision and values and, ultimately, affect how they cast their votes in the next general election.

Former TV newscaster and veteran event host Datuk Mahadzir Lokman advised the leaders to dress more casually to present a more approachable, people-centric appearance rather than a typical politician’s suit and tie.

“Our politicians tend to be very mundane in their choice of dressing,” he said.

“Of course, they can’t wear baggy jeans or T-shirts, but I do suggest a pair of slacks and short-sleeve cotton or linen shirt to appear as a down-to-earth wakil rakyat.”

Mahadzir opined that both speakers must articulate their points in a crisp and clear manner and added that he believed Dr Chua had an advantage here as he had strong oratory skills.

“He speaks very well and he is respected in the Chinese community as a taiko or big brother. To them, a taiko leads and has the right to do whatever he wants,” he said.

He added that both men must appeal to two segments of the Chinese community — the English-speaking and the Chinese educated —and that the latter would expect precise Mandarin with faultless grammar, pitch and intonation.

“I believe parts of the debate will be in English which is important as it is not just the Chinese who will be watching, everyone else will be too!”

Datuk Lawrence Chan, executive chairman of PDL Management Corporation and an international speaker and trainer, felt that “Dr Chua’s forte is his vast experience while Lim’s strengths are his youth and the long, hard way he took to reach the Chief Minister’s post.”

“But what will be vital for both is whether they can keep a cool head. In a debate, certain issues tend to invoke strong emotions, and the speakers can come across as authoritarian, which can put off people.

“Maintaining eye contact with the audience is also important, as are their non-verbal expressions which are there for all to see during a live debate. Sometimes it is not what’s being said that counts, it’s how they say it. If the speakers speak persuasively, even those who are neutral will swing to their side.

“I would also advise them to use some humour that is relevant, as people tend to remember such moments.”

According to Roshan Thiran, CEO of Leaderonomics, a leadership development social enterprise, leadership styles are driven by personalities.

“And as far as public perception goes, Lim is seen as a Gen X leader whom people can relate to easily.

“He has established an image as a leader who is approachable. It’s a positive trait but on the downside, he may take a while to respond to issues.

“Dr Chua, on the other hand, is a smart and savvy leader who has survived many crises in his political career. He is a leader who knows how to lead through different and difficult circumstances,” said Roshan.

He added that what would be important in a live debate would be for the two men to know how to leverage on their strengths while playing down their weaknesses.

Supporters spar online ahead of the main event


PUTRAJAYA: Supporters of both MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng are beating the war drums online as the political rivals prepare to face off in what has been dubbed the most anticipated debate of the year for the Chinese community.

Encouragement filled the Facebook pages of both Dr Chua and Lim while others took the opportunity to “thumb down” their opponents.

Dr Chua will square off with Lim tomorrow on the topic “Is the two-party system becoming a two-race system?” before a 600-strong audience at Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur.

“Big boss, drop the hammer down, show them that all promises made must be based on the political reality of Malaysia,” Facebook user Reon Lim wrote on Dr Chua’s page.

Another supporter, Ragvinder Singh Jessy, said: “Guan Eng is thrashed. He lacks substance in debates. He’s no match to your prowess.”

DAP supporters were equally enthusiastic about Lim, with some suggesting to the Penang Chief Minister to sport his signature “Brylcreem look” for good luck.

“We all kind of like it and miss it, don’t know why but that hairstyle gives you extra ‘uumphh’ and ‘pow-wah’ (power). Good luck, CM – we believe in you!” said Evelyn Hor, referring to Lim’s slick hairdo.

Those who did not manage to reserve a seat for the debate expressed their disappointment.

Although the debate will be aired live on Astro, some are unhappy because not everyone has access to satellite television.

“Why the free tv station no broadcast? I hope tv station in media prima or rtm can broadcast this, not everyone can watch through astro,” wrote Bernard Low Chun Sun on Dr Chua’s Facebook page.

The debate, organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute and MCA think-tank Insap, is part of a day-long forum on “The Chinese at a Political Crossroads in the Next General Election”.

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