Ahmad Shabery said the debate had to be aired live so that the public would not have the perception that it was being doctored before going on air.
“The debate is to have a clear picture of the government's decisions and policies as well as to correct public perception on the matter,” he said.
“In fact, Anwar wants to debate with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi or Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak or both of them, and not the Information Minister", said PKR Vice-President, Azmin Ali. (The Star)
Let me share below a communique from the Office of Anwar Ibrahim:
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Office of Anwar Ibrahim
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2008 20:32:30
Subject: Live television debate: Fuel prices and the Malaysian economy
There are a few times in life when you have a chance to be a part of something historic. For Malaysians, March 8th, 2008 was one of those days...when we went to the polls and our voices resonate with the call for democracy, good governance and the rule of law.
July 15th is another historic day. At 9:00 PM, for the first time ever, there will be a live, televised debate during which Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will explain his vision for the nation and how he plans to reignite the economy which has lagged under the Barisan Nasional government.
The debate, entitled "Form the government today, reduce fuel prices tomorrow", is an opportunity for the people of Malaysia to get involved in the conversation about the future of the country. The dramatic increase in the price of fuel which was enacted by the Barisan Nasional government on June 6th has caused hardship for many families and raised doubts about how well the government is managing the economy. The government's policies seem haphazard and inconsistent. Billions are lost to corruption and inefficiency and the people are told that they must pay. It's no surprise that a recent survey showed 85% of people hope that the Pakatan Rakyat comes to power soon.
The government will argue that an increase in the price of petroleum was inevitable and that the Malaysian people have to adjust their lifestyles and accept. Datuk Seri Anwar will explain that as an oil exporting nation, Malaysia can do a better job taking care of its people and that the government must implement better policies to alleviate hardships of the poor and marginalised and stimulate growth and increase income.
We hope you will watch the debate. Call your family members. Call you friends. Meet up at a local cafe or restaurant and watch the debate together. It is a rare chance that you will have to hear both sides of the story at the same time.
The debate will be broadcast live at 9:00 PM on Tuesday, July 15th 2008.
TV9 - (ASTRO Ch 119)
Astro Awani - (ASTRO Ch 501)
Bernama.TV - (ASTRO Ch 502)
IP Global TV will host a live feed via webcast.