I did not want to comment on the so-called ‘Big debate” initially even though I did watch it over TV. But after many friends have asked me for my opinion, I thought I would just write a short comment on the debate.
I thought there was really nothing to shout about. After watching both speakers speak, I have a feeling of attending 2 political ceramah at one shot.
Having said that, I thought it was still a good attempt by both to come together and talk civilly on their stand, although much of what was discussed was way off the topic.
The same , however cannot be said of the partisan crowd. I have all along mentioned that Malaysians are too partisan, and once you are being too partisan, you will be blinded by sheer loyalty and would support blindly whatever your side is doing, including something that may not be good.
Then there is someone whose partisanship has gone overboard. I refer to a young woman snarling and screaming ( to those who may not have seen what snarling is like, just go to watch the video or photos on the net, there are plenty on this) while asking questions from the floor.
If there is an image from that debate that would stick to my mind, it was that snarling look, the ultimate showcase of blind partisanship; whatever other side does must be wrong, hence the emotional outburst.
Malaysians should not be too partisan. Being nonpartisan is actually one of the most important requirements of a 2 party system. If one side is no good, kick it out. If after the other side come to power and also no good, we can kick it out again and give the mandate back to the first. If so doing, we will establish a culture of competitiveness among the 2 sides; and when there is competition, there will be improvement. That is the essence of a 2 party system.
The woman was harping on the law enforcement ( the towing of illegally parked cars at night) at night in Penang. Her point being that at night there is less traffic and so illegal parking should be allowed. But law is law, and to cultivate a culture of law-abiding citizens, there is really no other way but to enforce law in a fair manner, and law enforcement should have no time limit . In overseas, many a time we can see someone who would not cross the road as long as the pedestrian light is red, even though there is no traffic on the road; this is called law abiding, and it takes firm enforcement of law to cultivate this.
In putting across such ill-conceived logic, she has actually exposed a weak side of BN component parties– everything can be negotiated, even law-breaking acts. Small acts often lead to bigger things, and that is why there is this culture of “BN Boleh” .
I hope in future , members of both parties should refrain from showing their ugly side. It just does not endear them to those who are nonpartisan, those on the middle ground who constitute the majority whom their party leaders are trying to woe.