Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Big debate. Historic, some may say.
Who won? Is it not clear already? Your perception of who won really depends on your political affiliation, doesn't it? The blogs on Petaling Street have gone on the offensive, critisizing Ahmad Shabery's personal attacks and his foaming mouth. However, those blokes on Bernama TV have been tearing into Anwar Ibrahim saying his proposals have been very vague and not as detailed as he promised. Even I can't call myself a fair judge on this simply because I cannot accept the notion of a reduction in subsidy.
However, some very relevant thoughts and facts, with a forward apology if I misquote any one of them:
1) Saying you won't engage somebody in a personal attack and then calling him Tokoh Semangat 46 at the end of your sentence is like saying, "I won't resort to personal attacks, you moron"
2) It is easy to say that you are going to reduce reserve capacity from 40% to 20%. Good on you, mate. HOW?!? The curse of the IPPs already exist and their contracts would run for another 7 or 8 years. Are you going to force them to renegotiate their contracts? What message does this send to foreign investors or future investors? That you can sign a contract today and it will be worthless tomorrow with a new government in place?
On that same point, when Ahmad Shabery pointed out that the curse of the IPPs was during Anwar's tenure as Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar then pushed the blame to Mahathir saying that nobody agreed with it, which was why the then Ani Arope resigned as TNB's head honcho. If Anwar did not agree with it back then, then similarly he should have resigned along with Ani Arope!
3) I know this point was brought up, but I have to mention it here again because that was the first thing that popped into my mind when Anwar said that he proposes a 50 sen reduction. Didn't he say BEFORE the elections that if he won, he would reduce the price of petrol from RM1.92? Why is it that 4 months later, he now proposes RM2.20 - a good 40 sen or 50 sen more than his original proposal? Is that not a consession that the earlier subsidy proposal does not hold water?
4) Anwar Ibrahim claimed that he never asked us to compare our petrol prices with Venezuela. Well, he didn't but his wife did. The day the government announced the petrol hike, his wife, the Opposition leader called a press conference telling us that the price of petrol in Venezuela was 16 sen per litre. They even issued out a table (if you have been on the Internet, I am sure you have seen it) comparing our petrol price with places like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
5) What the are you going on and on about how your BN/UMNO thingamajig is the reason behind Petronas' success? Was Ahmad Shabery confused over the debate topic? Attacking Anwar Ibrahim was relevant (sort of) because he meant to say, look you won't be able to reduce the fuel price tomorrow if you took over today since you could do all that in the past. Fine. But what does that have to do with BN/UMNO? Nothing. Stick to the topic mate.
At the end of the day, the debate only works if either party managed to convince a disbeliever. I don't think either of them suceeded in doing so.
a) If one lousy water contract with SYABAS also cannot renegotiate; how to renegotiate half a dozen GSAs, dey?
b) Ani Arope stepped down as Chairman of TNB because of the 1996 blackout. Please don't do a Winston Smith on historical facts.
we hate to do it, but at some point in time we've got to make a choice, even when all's available in the bag are idiots.
chooki: You're wrong there. I stay neutral on most things, like the ridiculous behaviour of MPs on both sides. However, I have never said that I was neutral with regards to the fuel hike issue. I have always said I supported the need for a fuel hike, and hence, my support is with Pak Lah on this issue. You should read back my past few posts.
One reason, and only one reason.
I always believe a good leader is someone who makes difficult and unpopular decisions because they see the greater good. I cannot accept populist decisions.
Just that one reason is enough for me.
Keep on keeping on.
When I saw Shabery Cheeks on tv that night, I thought Shabery Lips would be a better fit. His lips disturbed me deeply.