Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Anwar vs Shabery Review

I was at the Wharf yesterday with my colleague at the request of Gus Gan who needed some help to build a Flash-based website. I was simply told that the usual suspects will be there. Pete Kamaruddin with his wife Marina were invited to come to the pub as well. We were awaiting with excitement as the debate on fuel price between Anwar Ibrahim and Shabery Cheek commencing at 9 p.m.

After watching the proceedings, we felt that both of the men debated quite well, but in the end, Anwar edges past Shabery. Both men started well, but Anwar did well because he had the facts and numbers ready at hand. Shabery also has that, but he delineated at the first-third of the show by making statements that refer to character assassination. The turning point that Anwar said was that while oil-exporting nations only need to handle inflation, Malaysia faced a double-whammy in handling inflation and high-cost of living.

We can judge who is the winner for that debate in terms of audience reaction. When Shabery presents his points, the supporters, mostly UMNO loyalists cheered, but the amount can be around 35 percent most, while most of them cheered for Anwar. Even MPs were there as well including Loh Gwo-Burne or MP Wee. We tried messaging him during the break but seems that he didn't pick up...

Yes, the show went on smoothly apart from the Malaysiakini reported mayhem at the media room and after that, we received an SMS from Ku Li himself, that Pete showed to us:

"I am quite ashamed. He used to work in my office!"

Of course, it refers to Shabery being Ku Li's information secretary. Another guy from Sabah jokingly told us by phone that there is now a vacancy for the post of Information Minister. Well, some calls came in from what everyone said, Anwar edges Shabery like winning by a single goal. I think the debate, being represented by Ku Li's ex, Shabery gives a leverage for him in the upcoming UMNO elections.

We had rounds of drinks with food. I was asked a few questions on servers by Pete himself chatted with the usual lot until 1 a.m and even met famed rally driver, Karamjit Singh! We also had photo sessions so, it was kind of an incredible night there.

The real advantage from that debate is in fact the people gets a chance to listen to both views at the same time.

Further reading:

Anwar Edges Shabery

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