Wednesday, 22 February 2012

S’wak DAP wants to debate with Taib

Joseph Tawie  | February 22, 2012
 Instead of locking horns with a 'decorative piece' like SUPP, the opposition party prefers to engage in a verbal battle with the chief minister himself.

Taib Mahmud NewKUCHING: Sarawak DAP is prepared to debate with any leader from the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) but prefers to lock horns with Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.
“Well, if SUPP’s Wong Soon Koh dares to take up the challenge, we can debate. DAP is ever ready to engage in a debate with him,” said DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen.
He was asked to respond to remarks made by Wong who welcomed that debates should be extended to Sarawak in order to enlighten the public.
Chong, who is the Kota Sentosa assemblyman, said: “But it will be more meaningful if we can debate with Taib’s Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) rather than with SUPP.”
“SUPP has no standing or power to make any policy decision. So should there be any debate, I think we want to debate with someone who has the power to make decisions. SUPP is in the government for decorative purposes only.
“What is the point of having a debate with someone who cannot make a decision on behalf of the Barisan Nasional coalition?” he asked.
That is why, Chong said, SUPP would rather take on Taib and urged Wong as a state minister to convince the CM to engage in a debate with DAP.
On Tuesday, Wong, who is second finance minister and state minister for local government and community development, said that Sarawak welcomed political debates like the one between MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
“I think it is good to have it in Sarawak too to help enlighten the community on vital and current issues and policies affecting them. It is part of the educational process for the public,” he said.
Unconditional invitation extended
In Sibu, DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng sent an invitation to Wong and SUPP president Peter Chin for a debate.
Ho Leng was supposed to debate with Daniel Ngieng of the SUPP Sibu branch but it was called off due to the state election in April.
“Now that the state election is over, let us return to the debate. I challenge SUPP Sibu branch chairman Wong Soon Koh to it, and I extend the invitation to Peter Chin too,” he said.
Giving SUPP an unconditional invitation, Ho Leng said that SUPP was free to choose any topic including flood issues that concerned the people of Sibu.
“We can have it through the Astro channel too or even through TV1, TV2 or TV3. We can talk on any topic, and let the people be the judge,” he added

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