Unfortunately, the most abiding memory of the Great Debate was this scene during questions from the floor.
Unfortunate because of the many other bigger issues she could have raised and because of the way it was raised. And unfortunately for her and the MCA, she probably did more damage to her party’s cause than whatever Guan Eng said.
Clearly, the lack of a culture of ‘live’ political debates has resulted in some people being unfamiliar with the basic etiquette involved in raising questions from the floor.
In this case too, the organisers – and future organisers – should evaluate how questions from the public should be raised. This is not to say that questions should be screened nor should those asking questions be devoid of passion or conviction.
But haranguing speakers should not be allowed, and questions raised should be relevant to the topic.
In this case, the topic was vague and weird (purposely to keep Malaysians divided or to suit the race-based agenda?), to begin with. And that made it all the more difficult to decide what was relevant and what wasn’t.
And how is it those asking questions were mainly from one side?
Let’s hope the next debate would be more about the respective politician’s vision for all Malaysians and the concrete policies to realise that vision. And let’s hope it is in a language that all Malaysians understand with more accurate and clear translations, televised live on free-to-air networks.