Whilst I had stuck to the debate topic of “Is The 2-Party System Becoming A 2-Race System” on 18 February 2012 and avoided making any personal attacks against MCA President Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek, BN-controlled media is desperately trying to whitewash Chua’s personal attacks not only against me but also against his predecessor Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat. The BN-controlled media did not point out that the only personal attacks were coming from Chua.
If personal attacks are the criteria for success then there is no doubt that Chua is the victor. However I had refused to engage in personal attacks as a debate should be a healthy contest of ideas, ideals and principles. Who won or lost should be judged by the television viewers and audience.
Fortunately such attempts by these BN-controlled media to whitewash Chua’s personal attacks not only against me but surprisingly against Ong Tee Keat, would not work as the debate was telecast live. This is the reason why the English and/or Bahasa Malaysia debate next month with Chua must be also be telecast live so there is no distortion of what actually happenend.
A clear example of such whitewashing is the repeated lies by MCA-owned paper the Star. Yesterday I had written to Star Executive Editor / Group Chief Editor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai, that I can neither condone nor accept when the Star invents quotes that I never said. Under the article “What they said” in page 6 of the Star on 19.2.2012, I was reported to have said,
“We do not agree the Prime Minister must always be Malay because we want the people to decide.”
As The Star is owned by MCA, I respect the right of The Star to present a partisan slant and biased report of the proceedings. However, this quote attributed to me is false and untrue because no reference whatsoever was ever made by me on this issue during the debate. I regret that the Star did not print my letter and admitted their error somewhat reluctantly in today’s print edition.
I am shocked that the very same lie was perpetuated by Star columnist Baradan Kuppusamy in his column on 21.2.2012 at Page 24 under the title “All hype but no climax? Where Baradan wrote, “Furthermore, he(Lim) said the Pakatan did not agree that only a Malay could be the Prime Minister, and that this should be put to the people to decide.”
This is not the only lie by Baradan. Another lie by Baradan in his column is that I only wanted a second debate in English or Bahasa Malaysia now to repair the damage from having a scarred reputation after the Mandarin debate. I had written before the 18 February 2012 debate on 15 February 2012 asking for a second debate in English/ Bahasa Malaysia for the benefit of non-Chinese speakers. This was also agreed to by Chua before the first Mandarin debate.
For this reason, Star should withdraw and apologise for Baradan’s column that does not adhere to facts in line with the spirit of “Comment is free, but facts are sacred!’.
I have no objections to the second debate in English /Bahasa Malaysia being held in Kuala Lumpur at the same venue of Berjaya Times Square or by any organiser provided it is neutral and ensure impartial treatment to both debators. There should be no repeat of the Mandarin debate which was jointly organised by MCA, where MCA was able to stack 12 out of the 13 questions asked from MCA members, directing their vitriolic attacks against me.
Lim Guan Eng