It took off finally. The debate between Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Dato Shabery Cheek. Anwar looked a little shaken but not stirred. I don’t know- maybe there were a few hundred men in blue outside. Perhaps Anwar was thinking of the possibility of being arrested. That must have thrown him off tangent somewhat.
Shabery cheek has lips thick enough to gather rain water. According to Malay beliefs those who have thick lips disproportionate to the facial profile, have a gluttonous appetite. The possessor of those lips want everything for themselves. Maybe Shabery wants all the attention. That’s why he was dressed like a million dollars.
His lower lips quivered many times. I hope it’s just nervousness and not bell’s palsy. Or worse, it was the realisation that he was hung out to dry. Cannon fodder shielding other more powerful leaders who do not relish meeting Anwar themselves.
What do I think of the debate? I am an UMNO man but have to concede that Anwar came out the better from the great debate yesterday. Overall he was closer to the topic than Shabery Chick ever was. He didn’t nail Anwar on the proposed initial 50 sen reduction in the price.
Suppose the price is reduced by 50sen? What are the effects on government revenue?. Shabery paints the doomsday picture that a 50 sen reduction will impoverish Malaysia overnight. Infrastructure projects will be stopped. Yes yes-Dato Shabery, I understand. When these projects are suffocated, all those class F contractors will revolt. Class A contractors will go kaput. UMNO warlords will buckle under.
Anwar did better to outline where he will obtain the RM5 billion needed to finance the reduction.
I am perplexed when Shabery went off tangent by saying that the government is actually at the mercy of world oil market. The government has no choice but to follow what the world dictates. The price of oil has to increase because of reduction in supplies. Has he checked the facts or was he reading from the government’s own statistics?.
Is there a global decline in world inventories? According to the IEA( I don’t want to say what this means) the global oil supply was 87 million barrels in Q1 2008 compared to 85.5 million barrels( 42 gallons per barrel) in Q1 2007. Worldwide oil supply rose 2.5% in Q1 2008 while worldwide demand rose by 2%.
Why are we being barraged by a fusillade of disinformation from our leadership? Please lah, don’t mislead us.