Ramasamy: The great, anticipated debate failed

Ramasamy: The great, anticipated debate failed

What was supposed to be a debate of interest in Sapura Energy Bhd (SEB) between former prime minister Najib Tun Razak and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim turned into a debate defending their respective political positions.

The debate started with the two of them stating their respective stands on SEB’s will.Although without debate, their stance on SEB is well known.

Anwar wants full audit of the company before aid is given while Najib wants plans to rescue the government.Did the debate provide any important information that the public doesn’t know?

The answer is no.SEB’s debate is just an appetizer before the next two candidates state their respective political stance on the nation’s development trajectory.

As Najib pretended to reveal that he knew what was needed for the country, Anwar took a more cautious approach by saying that not all plans in the past worked well for the country.

Najib boldly talked about a huge project that benefits the people without considering his notorious 1MDB scandal and issues that shook the country until paved the way for PH to take over the federal government in 2018.

Najib may have spoken so confidently about the duration BN held office without realizing that the BN government collapsed under its own influence specifically because of its role in certain matters.

Najib may be gaining popularity but that doesn’t mean the people are forgetting his evil role in the massive financial scandal that shook the country.

He may want to be the next Prime Minister, but how he will get away with the crimes he is convicted of remains to be seen.I understand that the federal court has set a date for his appeal.

It helps debaters if they have a clean record with no past misconduct.Anwar, PH prime ministerial candidate, may win the debate.

Although there are no new ideas on matters raised or discussed including SEB, Anwar’s stand that is different from Najib clearly represents the ordinary people, the people.

While Najib talked about the stability of the government with the need for major projects, Anwar has taken a cautious approach.To him it’s all good and good to talk about big projects, but what about accountability and transparency.

This is why he is talking about the need for forensic audits.Anwar did talk about some cost-saving measures of the former PH government before it collapsed due to the notorious betrayal of the Sheraton Movement.In one sense, a debate between two political personalities cannot actually be seen as a debate.

It is just a confirmation of their respective stand regarding the political, economic and social position of the country.Anwar wants a cautious approach considering past mistakes, while Najib wants a more pro-active government to establish political and economic stability.

I with a heavy heart will stand with Anwar. Not because he comes up with fresh and challenging ideas, but because he has a clean record.Not because I’m with PH, but because I think the country needs to heal first a little bit from the wound caused by the BN regime.

The famous saying that it is better to take one step forward and two steps back may be applied to Anwar’s position of moving and stepping back to rethink the past.

There is no way that I will support Najib solely because he is not part of the solution but part of the problem.Whether Najib or Anwar, they can’t pretend that the past may not catch up with them.

But in this regard, Anwar’s record is far better than Najib, the father of scandal in Malaysia.Yet some of the misguided society groups seriously think that Najib has all the qualifications to become the next Prime Minister of the country.Such thinking is the road to great disaster.

P Ramasamy is the deputy chief minister II of Penang

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of The Leaders Online