Anwar Ibrahim and Ahmad Shabery Cheek went on stage for a debate of the century in Malaysia on July 15.
It was an eye-opener in Malaysia although in the Western and some other democratically more mature nations, an open debate between ruling and opposition fronts is a common scene.
The topic in question was the steamy oil which has turned the whole world frenzied economically and socially - and the wobbly situation is not expected to be over soon.
Let's come back to the debate - both Anwar and Shabery had all the wits to deal with the sizzling issue from their respective perspectives. Their views were therefore respectable.
Anwar thrashed out eloquently with his views on a managable subsidisation programme to keep the oil cheaper for the benefits of the rakyat. But one point particularly relevant to us was on the prevalent corruption.
In the words of Anwar, had our system of government been cleaner and more transparent, the nation would have saved huge wealth for the betterment of our welfare system including oil subsidisation. This point is truly valid with all thumbs up!
Ahmad Shabery Cheek made good sense economically in pointing out that the oil desubsidisation programme of the government of Pak Lah has been implmented in utmost good faith for the benefits of the nation on long-term perspective. Malaysia is fast turning into an oil net-importer, making it burdensome for the government to go on indefinitely providing cheap oil.
In short, Ahmad Shabery Cheek was calling on the rakyat to wake up to the global reality.
This nature of debate provides an excellent platform for both ruling and opposition fronts to address the nation on contemporary burning issues. We hope to see more to come!