Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Anwar-Shabery Debate - Viewers' Feedback: Information Minister Ahmad Shabery Came Unprepared and Fumbled Very Badly

Read Here viewers' feedback and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE


In a 12-hour poll conducted by Malaysiakini after the debate, almost 96% of the readers said Anwar did far better than Information Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

A total of 18,684 readers had participated in the poll, of which 17,240 or 95 percent said Anwar was more convincing in his arguments.

Ninety (90) percent of readers believed Ahmad Shabery avoided most of the questions put by the moderator and two other panelists.And when it comes to how the two debaters fared on a scale of 1 to 10, Anwar appeared to have outclassed Shabery.
Read here for more

---- End of Update ----

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim and Information Minister Shabery Cheek participated in a historic debate which was carried live on TV tonight.

The debate entitled ‘Form the government today, reduce fuel prices tomorrow’ was held at the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka in Kuala Lumpur. It began at 9pm and lasted for one hour.

The event, sponsored by web portal AgendaDaily, was moderated by Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka chairperson Johan Jaafar and two other panelists - current affairs weekly Siasah editor Zulkifli Sulong and Universiti Utara Malaysia vice-chancellor Nordin Kardi.

Excerpts from Malaysiakini on summary of the debate:
here for more, and HERE on Anil Netto's Blog .

Anwar, 60, was the first to speak and in his opening, he declared that should Pakatan Rakyat come to power, it would, as an early measure, reduce fuel prices by 50 sen per litre. In order to finance such a measure, Anwar proposed that leakages be plugged and that national power supplier Tenaga Nasional (TNB) reduce their reserve capacity from 40 percent to 20 percent, thereby reducing the amount of funds going to independent power producers (IPPs).

Shabery, 50, spent about two minutes arguing that the fuel prices were not the fault of the government but the result of a rise in global crude oil prices. In Shabery’s opening statement, he went on the offensive, pointing out that Anwar’s claim of reducing fuel prices was made prior to the March 8 general elections and as such, the 50-sen reduction should be for the price before the recent fuel price hikes, which was RM1.92.

By the three-and-a-half minute mark, Shabery launched his first of many personal attacks against Anwar by highlighting the opposition politician’s role in organising street demonstrations when he was a youth leader.

Anwar’s appointed panelist, Siasah editor Zulkifli Sulong, asked Shabery on the government’s claim that the RM4 billion saved from the March 2006 fuel hike to be spent on improving public transport. Shabery did not respond to the question on public transport.

Instead Shabery went to talk about how Venezuela and Iran had low oil prices but staggeringly high inflation and how the Malaysian government had weathered through the ongoing food crisis and still keep rice prices lower than even Thailand, a rice producer.

Zulkifli tried to jump in to say that Shabery did not answer his question but this was waved off by moderator Johan (right), who asked the magazine editor to ask his question to Anwar.

At the end of the debate Anwar walked over to Shabery to shake his hand.


  • The most glaring thing for all to see was the quality of debate. Some say Anwar won the debate as he focused on the issue at hand — the fuel price hike — while Ahmad Shabery, the Information Minister, seemed to take cheap shots at Anwar especially his younger days as a rabble rouser.

  • For this debate, it is for Anwar to lose, and he didn't. Shabery should be credited for having the ball to debate against Anwar, but nevertheless, and I beg to differ from Rocky's(Ahirudin Atan) opinion, I think Shabery didn't do too well especially his personal attacks on Anwar. This is a debate on the issues, not the personality. Anwar has got what he wants and Shabery has got what he deserve.

  • Shabery dengan kecetekan ilmu kepolitikannya berbanding DSAI tidak mampu untuk menangani debat ini dengan hujah2 yg bernas malah sebaliknya hanya memaparkan ketidakcerdikannya. Sikap tidak beretika yg dipamerkan oleh Shabery jelas mencerminkan corak pemikiran dan penilaian yg lemah di dalam memahami sesuatu isu atau persoalan yg dilemparkan.Seharusnya cadangan atau struktur penyelesaian yg diutarakan oleh DSAI dibahaskan dari pelbagai perspektif dan bukannya dibanjiri dgn fakta2 sejarah berbau peribadi dan tidak menguntungkan rakyat. Sedarlah, rakyat yg sebenarnya mempunyai kuasa mutlak di dalam menentukan segala2nya.BANGUNLAH!! DSAI, anda adalah KEBANGGAN kami dan Shabery, anda adalah KEMALUAN BESAR kerajaan BN!

  • Very interesting Rocky (Ahirudin Atan), this time you got it wrong. Shabery hit below the belts which I think was very uncalled for and he seems to forget the topic of the day. Furthermore, his answers were very general and only touching the surface with no supported facts and figures but instead he threw accusations to Anwar. Anyway, your posting seems more to one sided these days. Kenapa Rocky ? ikut angin ker ?

  • Rocky (Ahirudin Atan) ,I strongly disagree with you. Shabery did poorly - the debate was supposed to be about issues and he should have presented Government's side with fact, figures and arguments. Being personal and making some stupid potshots was not for this kind of debate. But I guess he is too dumb to know it and has probably played to a different gallery.

  • Dear Rocky(Bru/Ahirudin Atan) ,What's wrong with u these few days. You seems 2 be lost not knowing to differentiate. I don't fancy Anuar but I do agree with him 4 the first time in my life. He talk on facts and fig n our stupid minister keep on with his personal attack.

  • Tomorrow all mainstream media in the country will announce that the debate is basically a draw with a slight edge to the information minister. Of course, the whole country know who actually won.

  • In case you guys have not noticed, this UUM chancellor is the guy that sued RPK for 4 mill. This is the so-called self-proclaimed intellect and he proved for the entire nation to see just how big of an 'intellect' he really is. IPP pun tak tau, clowns i tell ya, clowns. Also when asking a question to Shabbery went and asked him 'why anwar is taking the actions that he is taking'. Idiot, u ask Shabery on Anwar's choice of actions, pffftttt ... i'm speechless....

  • The minister was literally 'foaming in the mouth'. Poor thing, why did they send him into the lion's den! I thought that there were only two peoples in the debate and then there was this guy in blue shirt taking up the stage to say his piece and he didn't even know what IPPs are and that IPP actually consumes gas/oil/coal to operate. My surprise didn't stop there--he is actually the current vice-chancellor of UUM! I will never send my son/daughter/ grandchildren... to UUM for the next seven generations! (tujuh keturunan tu...) What a d**k head he was! The country is in deep sh*t with these people running it. Please God saves us from this altercation!

  • Shabery is an embarrassment to the BN Government. His personal attacks on Anwar only showed lack of wisdom and shallow knowledge of the economy. And dear Shabery, please bring a handkerchief next time to wipe your frothing saliva on both sides of your lips.

  • I am NOT Anwar supporter, but I think Shabery was eaten alive on national TV. Personal attacks - Shabery did it repeatedly.

  • I respect Shabery for his courage and his willingness to broadcast the debate. I don't think any other UMNO person will be capable of that. Unfortunately, he was no match for Anwar. Whilst Anwar answered with facts and figures, and focused on the issues, Shabery often came up with vague generalisations and personal attacks. It is obvious who won the debate tonight.

  • I respect Shabery’s guts but too but wrong person for the debate (attacking personal). I can’t blame him cause that what BN doo. Send the wrong person for the wrong job. That’s why we lose Batu Putih.Anyway more worst was Nordin (Shabery’s panel). Is he politician or academic. Why is he condenming Anwar. He shall just ask questions. VC of UUM, no wonder our univesities is rank so badly in the world. Again wrong person for wrong job. ONLY IN MALAYSIA

  • Looks like Shabery doesn’t understand what are the ground rules of a debate except to attack Anwar on a personal basis. Being an information minister, i can safely conclude that the information coming from the BN will thus be shallow and childish. Perhaps, Shabery should spend more time in Indonesia just by watching the 10 free to air national TV and the quality of the live debates, everyday covering a whole range of topics from politics to religion and most importantly, what matters most to the rakyat.

  • I watched the debate on TV and I have to say that Shabery is of no matched to Anwar. Anwar clearly won the debate hands down. Why? Because while Anwar answered all questions precisely, factually, to the point and without staying away from the original questions, Shabery was beating about the bush, running in circles, talking stories, attacked Anwar personally, and running out of topic on most occasions.It was obvious that while Anwar came to proved a point, Shabery came to shame, discredit and humiliate Anwar with below the belt attacked on Anwar personal character. Everything, but to answer the questions.But then again, maybe he didn’t know how to answer them.

  • Anwar is the obvious winner not because of his oratory skill but facts and again substantiated facts! Shabery being the ” best among the best representative” picked from BN camp is no matched ! That shows BN lacked quality people even for debating, not to mention to manage the Nation…

  • I particularly admired they way DSAI stood composed, poised and projected ease although he was being bashed up by the low class Minister Shabery Chik. It takes an above average leader undeniably to stay calm under any circumstances, pressure and hardships, DSAI has certainly proven that.

  • I think Shabbery Cheek needs to enroll basic economics class. He said despite providing subsidies, countries such as Iran and Venezuela. still faces inflation. These countries are facing sanctions and, on top of that they are importer of food. Firstly, when a country faces sanctions there will be limited supply of goods, hence this would cause inflation. Also, when a country depended importing food from overseas, the price of food sold in the importing country will definitely increase by much higher percentage if the global food price increases. This is “imported inflation”.If Shabbery do not know these basic fundamentals, I suggest he resign from the ministerial post.

  • Anwar is the clear winner in the debate. Ahmad Shabery's posture was to be the "protector" of Petronas. But Anwar made it clear he wasn't attacking Petronas and, in fact, lauded its achievements. That left Ahmad Shabery with making personal and barbed remarks about Anwar's rebellious history. The televised debate brought a poised, cool, intelligent, articulate and persuasive Anwar into the living rooms of all M'sians. Here was the "monster", the "Devil incarnate". But, guess what? He had no horns. He was not spewing smoke and flames. -Instead he was cool as a cucumber. He had a boyish grin. He looked charismatic. Hell! He WAS charismatic.

  • If Shabery's views represent those of the government, it has just told us chillingly that the government has no answers to the nation's woes. All they seem to know is to blame what is happening globally (as though we don't already know!) and FULL STOP! I do not know enough to judge whether DSAI's solution will work, but at least he seemed intelligent enough to give some sensible response supported by facts and reasoning. After this debate, I think BN will BAN future (such) debates! Thanks anyway, Shabery, for sacrificing yourself as a BN representative to be trashed by DSAI.

  • Im worried now. I just graduated from UUM and found out during the debate that my Vice Chancellor didnt know that the IPP is actually involved with gas and fuel. Im sure he didnt know that IPP stands for Independent Power Producer.I wonder how the hell in the world he said that IPP didnt or not got to do with fuel prices.

  • I slap my head when I heard Cheek's representative Dr Nordin Kadri speak. With people like him as Ketua Pengarah Biro Tata Negara and now Naib-Canselor of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), no wonder our university graduates have problems looking for jobs. Instead of radiating his data-crunching intellect, the man gave everyone a mindless lecture.

  • And that Kardi fella, what kind of VC do we have these days? He actually told Anwar, why talk of IPPs when the issue is Petronas and oil...MY God, a VC who doesn't know the basics of power production. Shudder to think what kind of varsities we have....

  • Anyone realize the genius vice chancellor who asked stupid question to Anwar? If this is the type of chancellor we have what could we expect out of our university students? Hope this VC resigns immediately saving the U from further embarrassment.

  • I was enlightened by questions by the so called vice utterly stupid while trying to sound intelligent..Man I would trust malasyian education system ever.

  • If any of my students gave a presentation so out of topic/context as did Shabery, I would've dismissed him/her for the whole semester. And kudos to his sidekick Nordin Kardi for making utter fools of both of them. I would say the whole thing was nothing short of insulting-to Anwar Ibrahim, for being put on the same stage (with) Shabery.

  • We saw what happened to govt without standards. The Minister cannot even focus on the goal of the debate. No wonder this kind of quality permeates our ministers ministries. Just poor standards. I wonder these ministers can digest even top quality data presented to them by their aides. ANWAR WINS. Please resign & the PM, for goodness sake, don't recycle ministers into other depts/ministries -- I am sure the country has talents, maybe not in UMNO.

  • TEPAT seperti mana kata Presiden Pas, Abdul Hadi Awang debat antara Penasihat PKR, Anwar Ibrahim dengan Menteri Penerangan, Ahmad Shabery Cheek tidak sepadan.Anwar yang sudah popular menjadi semakin popular dan penampilan tadi juga menaikkan saham dirinya yang agak mendung sehari dua ini. (Read here for more)

  • Shabery bebuih mulut macam kena gila babi. Ini bekas anjing Semangat 46 sangat bodoh menyerang peribadi Anwar. Tak setanding langsung.

  • To be honest, my family and I were never supporters of Anwar, but after that debate, based on the mature and calm way Anwar conducted himself, and the sincerety he showed as he spoke intelligently on every issue/question raised, he has won our respect. The debate just won Anwar a new-found respect and an even larger fan base.
    Yes, Anwar came out of that debate smelling roses while his truly unworthy opponent, that frothing-at-the-mouth Shabry made a huge stink of himself. Of course, right now Sabry must be foolishly congratulating himself for making all those offensive remarks, but when he finally realizes how disgusted the people are with his tactics, he is going to want to kick himself all the way to the North Pole and back. Anwar has come off as the more matured, intelligent, calm and more witty speaker. Meanwhile the man who was the facilitator made some cutting remarks about Anwar’s argument at one point but HE SAID NOTHING TO SABRY for hitting below the belt. Where can we send letters of protest about him? Basically, the only one who knew what he was talking about and what the debate was actually about was Anwar. The others were an embarrasement.

  • Tahniah DSAI! Shabery nampak sangat dah sangap! Tak Jawap Soalan Langsung!
    Bodoh serta Banggang! Bengong tak terkira dan tak terbatas hadnya.

  • I couldn't pay attention to what (Shabery) was rambling about. The whole time I was just focused on the spittle at the sides of his mouth, and feeling glad that Anwar was not within spitting distance.

  • Walaupun pada kenyataannya, saudara Anwar menang, saya juga perlu memuji usaha Menteri Penerangan ini. Dia bermati-matian buat propaganda untuk BN dan UMNO, sebiji macam kempen pilihanraya. BN bagus, UMNO bagus.....!!! Bilakah UMNO dan BN akan faham bahawa bagus atau tidaknya sesuatu kerajaan itu bukan boleh ditentukan dengan propaganda, tapi pengelaman yang dilalui setiap rakyat 24 jam sehari 365 hari setahun, kalua mereka susah sepanjang tahun, maknanya buruklah kerajaan itu, kalau senang hidupnya, maka maknanya baiklah kerajaan itu!!! Semudah itu. BN, lain kali, tolong berfikir sedikit, politik ini bukan macam iklan, banyak kali main, boleh mempengaruhi orang!!! Orang bukan bodoh! Yang bodohnya hangpa!!!

  • Shabery Cheek was up against a giant in this debate. That requires some punk, but I imagine it was more a case of ignorance. Makes me wonder, is this the best BN has got? Pak Lah is no debater, he would have been repeatedly embarrassed had he taken the stage to debate.

  • The question of who wins who lose does not arise. What upset me is the personal attack embark by Shabery in the course of his argument.

  • The debate illustrates what happens when you pit youthful inexperience with a masterful seasoned campaigner.Just look at Shabery's facial expression at the start of the debate compared with towards the end!The 4th Floor boys should learn from this...all the knowledge procured in youth is no match for experience!

  • It was so clear that Anwar was speaking like a PM, with substance, precise and professional. Shabery was no match at all, nothing new in his arguments and looked like someone very desparate grasping for straws as he could not rebut Anwar’s argument and had to resort to personal attacks.

  • Anwar! Stop debating with kids. Orang tanya Utara dia jawab Selatan. Anyway it was pleasure to hear our future PM speak and indeed a relief to have identified that we actually have clowns in the August House.

  • My opinion is that Shaberry touches more on ‘historical’ happenings and to some extent made personal attacks on Anwar which may be perceived as his inability to provide relavant answers to some of the questions.

  • Whenever Anwar speaks, I feel the way whenever I watch Obama making his live speeches ~ they both mesmerised me. If this debate program is to go on for future debates, professionalisms must be observed at all times. Shabery just lost his credibilities when he used personal attacks as his weapon of counter-arguements. That was like a coffee-shop style of debate in a kampung. Definitely, no match for Anwar. But hats off to him for having the guts to do this. Can’t imagine Zam doing this.

  • I wanted to watch this debate without any preconceived notion of the outcome. I think the debate is a good platform for any democratic countries like M'sia to debate issues. There are times when you need to take to the street too if the people in power are absolutely blind and deaf to our plea. In fact, expressing your rights is the freedom of speech (of course with the right intention of the people). Anyway, here's my unbiased thought about debate - and without a doubt, Anwar is the clear winner by a mile.
    Preparation :Anwar was clearly prepared for this debate. He has the eloquence to hold this debate through and through. On the other hand, Shabery was poorly prepared. He has no idea what he wants to talk about. He has no sense of the debate and didn't know how to time his speeches. You just need to look at his first speech to know how inexperienced he is.

    Facts :Anwar was spitting out facts after facts. Shabery was simply spitting out craps! Common, is that difficult to get some facts to support your argument?? All I hear was a lesson on history (which by the way is irrelevant).

    Sportsmanship:Anwar approached Shabery for a handshake. That's a gentleman gesture for a debate. Shabery seemed to be too afraid to do anything. What a gutless politician.

    Shabery: I think you need to RESIGN ASAP. Another disgrace to M'sians. If this person can become an Information Minister, then I think my uncle at the kopi tiam can become the PM of the country la. My goodnees, i didn't know they have the gut to replace a moronic information minister with another one.
  • Shabery failed miserably and if he has any face, he should quit on 24-hours basis, effective midnight.Personal attack on public debate patform is no go go; Shabbery just showed or revealed UMNO true colors and its bad for business.

  • Anwar presented his case and conducted himself like a Prime Minister. He was poised, he was patient, factual, responded to questions, to the point and most of all, did not succumb to retaliate to the innuendos and personal attacks. Bravo.
    I know there are many of us out there who are doubtful about this man, but I personally believe that we have no one better to lead this country than the man we saw on tv just now. I hope Malaysians would give him the chance…

  • Sorry bro (Rocky Bru/Ahirudin Atan), you're a lost cause. You're not independent anymore ... judging from the comments it seems obvious that you chose to spin the other way ... ada offer kat NST or Utusan ke ...Umno member still.

  • Roc/(Ahirudin Atan), you must have lost your hearing aids and refuse to give credit to a better debater and Shabery did not know what he was suppose to debate on. This is not a debate for a choice of an American Presidential candidate (where personal attacks are allowed) but, the subject chosen was on fuel hike. Healthy and intelligent views should be made, not resort to personal attacks, Shabery was way out of line.

  • Rocky,(Ahirudin Atan), Be rational and fair-minded or at least "intellectual" sikit-lah !: My children are reading your blogs ocassionally. You are teaching BAD JUDMENT & BAD VALUEs on good decent debating skills. If my children is learning debating skills , I wouldn't want them to learn the lowly tactics of personal attacks and irrelevant attempts at discrediting opponent in debates exemplified by this Minister Shabery.He clumsily avoided so many crucial and pertinent issues threw at him by Anwar and the questioners. As a taxpayer, I am convinced public fund has been wasted on maintaining him.We can all have different viewpoints of whose is the winner, but on the basis and rationales ? Come on lah Rocky, dont shame yourself unnecessary!!

  • Rocky (Ahirudin Atan), You seem to show your bias on and off these days. Come on Rocky, having been such a great editor, you really think Shabery got his points across? Be honest in your assessment lah.

  • Rocks(Ahirudin Atan),Dissapointed that you could not maintain neutral stand. From the many many comments it was obvious how the rakyat saw the debate. I know shabery is ur friend but as journalist you should know better.

  • Come on Rocky (Ahirudin Atan), i really miss the old you. This new you, trying to be neutral and fair and all.. is not really working, because it's been covered with a think layer of fakeness as well as unfairness. Starting form your recent "Stop Blogging Protest", it is sad. Really sad. Because somehow i can tell u are slowly tuning your mind towards the ideologies of BN and UMNO.
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