Pua-Arul Kanda showdown should be a debate, not Q&A, says minister

Salleh Said Keruak

(The Malaysian Insider) – The scheduled talk show between 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) president Arul Kanda Kandasamy and DAP’s Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua must be a debate, and not a question-and-answer session, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said today.

Speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby, Salleh said Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) would host the show, but only in a studio environment without any live audience.

“There seems to be some dispute over the format. We feel it must be a debate, not a question-and-answer session. Both sides can present their points and people can judge and make their own analysis. This is not about scoring points.”

The debate will be hosted for one hour, Salleh said. RTM has contacted Arul Kanda today and will be contacting Pua soon to set the date, he added.

“We want to do it as soon as possible, hopefully this year, because the people are waiting to hear about the 1MDB issues.”

RTM said it was ready to provide a moderator for the debate.

“The moderator can set the terms of debate. If they want us to get a moderator, we can provide one,” said Salleh.

He, however, said that the debate should not be the same as the one between PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and former communications minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek back in 2008.

“We find that such a format is not conducive. So there should not be live audience. We will broadcast it live from the studio.”