Saturday, 18 February 2012

Malaysian Chinese Forum kicks off with a bang; Chua-Lim showdown!


Soi Lek fires salvos at Guan Eng ahead of debate



 Chua: People the winner in the debate

Chua and Penang chief minister Guan Eng agreed to keep the debate professional and not as a platform to decide who is the winner or loser.

KUALA LUMPUR: The people has emerged as the ultimate winner in the debate between the MCA and DAP here today as it allowed the Malaysian public to evaluate for themselves the policies and stands of the Barisan Nasional and the opposition.

“The winner is the rakyat and not Lim Guan Eng (DAP secretary-general) or Chua Soi Lek,” said MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek in a joint news conference soon after concluding the debate, which drew a hugh public interest, especially from the Chinese community and was telecast live on Astro, that is on Astro AEC and Awani.

“An engagement like this will allow the rakyat to see the stands of BN and Pakatan,” he said after the hour-long debate titled “Is the two-party system becoming a two-race system?” organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) and MCA’s think-tank, Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (Insap).

Right from the beginning, Chua and his fellow debater, the Penang chief minister, agreed to keep the debate professional and not as a platform to decide who is the winner or loser.

The debate was conducted in Mandarin and was moderated by Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall chief executive officer Tan Ah Chai.

On a question whether both parties had answered the questions raised in the debate, Chua said he believed he could have provided better explanation if they were given more time and opportunity.

Meanwhile, Lim said the debate could be a good beginning to become a more matured democratic society, adding that such an event should be more frequently organised.

“I think this is something good and I hope this will not be the first and last. I feel it will open up the mind of our rakyat because issues must be debated rationally,” he said.

Lim said both he and Chua had agreed to meet again for another round of public debate, which would be in Bahasa Malaysia or English, and they would decide later on other details of the debate including topics, time and venue.

Lim added the ultimate debate that the people were awaiting to see would be between Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Bernama
MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek kicked off the much anticipated ‘Malaysian Chinese At the Political Crossroads’ conference today with an all out verbal assault against Pakatan Rakyat, ahead of his debate against DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

Hall erupts as MCA, DAP titans face off
Two of the most prominent Chinese politicians go head-to-head in a rare televised debate with MCA president Chua Soi Lek facing off DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

The debate topic is titled 'Chinese at the crossroads: Is the two-party system becoming a two-race system?'.

chua soi lek and lim guan eng debateTensions runs high in the packed ballroom at the Berjaya Hotel, Kuala Lumpur with a 600-strong crowd.

About 200 more who failed to secure entry passes are viewing following the debate through a big screen outside the hall (left).

LIVE REPORTS

4.55pm: The ballroom erupts as rival supporters chant stands up to chant the respective names of the debators as they take the stage.

5pm: Moderator Tan Ah Chai, chief executive officer of the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, kicks off the session by explaining the rules.

For the opening speeches, each debator will be allowed to speak for eight minutes.

5.02pm: The duo draw steps up to the moderator's podium to lots enclosed in a envelope, to choose the first speaker. Chua Soi Lek will go first.

Debate Chua Soi Lek5.05pm: After March 8, 2008. DAP has been practising the politics of hatred, says Chua.

He adds DAP has changed and is now teaming up with PAS, which wants to implement a theocratic state. He says DAP cannot stop PAS.

"DAP is just talking big," said Chua, triggering the first major applause from the floor, albiet from the MCA side.

He backs up his argument by stating that Kedah practice gender segregation while PAS is opposing to cinemas in Bangi, Selangor.

5.07pm: DAP likes to tell the Chinese that voting the opposition would improve living standards, pointing to how a DAP candidate can become a chief minister of Penang, says Chua.

Chua says DAP was giving false hopes to the Chinese that such a situation can happen in other states too.

5.10pm: Chua says that in multi-cultural country, Malaysians cannot support PAS because of its Islamic state agenda.

"Who is PAS' biggest ally?" asks Chua, to which the MCA crowd shouts in unison "DAP!".

Debate Lim Guan Eng5.12pm: It's now Lim Guan Eng's turn.

He thanks the organisers for organising the debate but says that what the public wants to see is a debate between PM Najib Razak and Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

5.14pm: "We in Pakatan Rakyat don't make use of each other. Our concern is how the public makes use of us.

"We aren't against the Malays. We aren't against the Chinese. We are against corruption," says Lim, whipping the Pakatan crowd into a frenzy...

By ISABELLE LAI

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Chinese at a Political Crossroads forum kicked off with a bang Saturday as MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek brought down the house with his fiery opening speech.

Dr Chua appeared to be metaphorically rolling up his sleeves in preparation for his debate with political opponent, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in the evening.

"He (Lim) is more interested in issuing countless statements to condemn or challenge others, behaving like a true street fighter. He has forgotten that he has a state to look after," said Dr Chua to tumultous applause.

The forum, jointly-organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute and MCA think-tank Insap, is being held at Berjaya Times Square here, with the highly-anticipated debate set to begin at 5pm.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak also could not resist referring to the Dr Chua-Lim showdown, saying with a grin that he heard there would be a "boxing match" in the evening.

"He (Chua) is going into the ring. As I can see from his speech, he is very well prepared.

"So we wish him all the very best, and as the boxing term goes, we hope he will punch above his weight," quipped Najib in his speech.

Both DAP and MCA delegates as well as members of the public will comprise the 750-strong audience who will later witness the debate, which will be conducted in Mandarin.

Overseas radio listeners can tune in to The Star's 988FM live broadcast via the station's website. www.988.com.my.

Local listeners should tune in to these frequencies: Kedah, Perlis,Langkawi (FM96.1), Taiping (FM96.1/94.5), Kuantan and Pahang (FM90.4),north Johor and Malacca (FM98.2), Penang (FM94.5), Ipoh (FM99.8), KlangValley (FM98.8), Negri Sembilan (FM93.3) and south Johor and Singapore (FM99.9).

Astro AEC (Channel 301) will also air the debate live, with a repeat telecast at 11pm while live streaming is available via its website www.astro.com.my/bendiquan.

Non-Mandarin speakers can watch the Bahasa Malaysia version on Astro Awani (Channel 501).

The debate will also be aired live on Astro AEC (Channel 301).

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