Mainstream media ‘whitewashed’ debate, says Guan Eng

Posted: February 20, 2012 at 9:32 am

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By Yow Hong Chieh
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — Lim Guan Eng has decried what he claims are attempts by the mainstream media to “whitewash” MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek’s personal attacks against him during Saturday’s debate.

The DAP secretary-general pointed out that while he had stuck to the topic of debate, Dr Chua had not only launched personal attacks against him but also MCA’s immediate past president, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat.

“If personal attacks are the criteria for success, then there is no doubt that Chua is the victor,” he said in a statement today.

“However, I had refused to engage in personal attacks as a debate should be a healthy contest of ideas, ideals and principles.”

Lim cited as an example of mainstream “whitewashing” the erroneous report by MCA-owned, The Star, in which he was quoted as saying: “We do not agree the prime minister must always be Malay because we want the people to decide.”

He said that while he respected the right of the English-language daily to present a partisan slant of the event, The Star’s “lies” were patently false and untrue.

The Star today published a correction on page six and apologised for attributing the quote to the Penang chief minister.

Such tactics will not work as the debate was shown live, Lim said, adding that this was the reason why his second debate with Dr Chua next month must also be telecast live to prevent any distortion of facts.

He also slammed The Star’s columnist, Baradan Kuppusamy, for claiming Lim had requested the second debate to repair the damage from his first outing.

Lim also asked that The Star withdraw Baradan’s column and apologise for allowing the latter to repeat the made-up quote in his analysis today despite printing an errata in the same paper.

He added that his second debate with Dr Chua in Malay and English should not be a repeat of the one held at the weekend, in which nearly all of the questions from the floor had been from MCA supporters.

“How can I answer 12 out of 13 questions in 3 minutes especially when most of them were lies?” Lim said.

“For this reason, I chose not to answer these lies as the debate should be about truth and the policies that PR (Pakatan Rakyat) wants to implement to change Malaysia.”

Saturday’s debate between Dr Chua and Lim was organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) and MCA’s Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (INSAP).

The highly anticipated Mandarin debate was broadcast live on Astro, with Malay translation.

Political analysts have criticised the Mandarin debate for veering off-topic and descending into political posturing.


Originally posted here:
Mainstream media ‘whitewashed’ debate, says Guan Eng

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February 20th, 2012 at 9:32 am

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