Why is PKR shunning public debate?

Opinion  |  James Chai
Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | It wasn’t too long ago that we had a premier who feared everything. Chief among these was his fear of debates. In his nine years as prime minister, Najib Abdul Razak never once accepted an offer to debate.

During the peak of the 1MDB scandal, everyone needed answers from an opaque government. The more Najib refused to debate, the more we inferred this to be a kind of fear.

Najib was not a risk-taker. Every speech he delivered was prepared beforehand; audiences vetted in advance. And most important of all, no debates.

He said he did so because “debating is not our culture.” But ironically, he never shied away from any opportunity to glorify Malaysians who achieved international debating success.

And thus, the opinion was unanimous: Najib feared debating because he had something to hide.

Politicians hate debates

Debates are a nightmare to many politicians.

This is because politicians are engineers of public image....

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