Wow! What a Show! Glad I didn't miss it. So, how would I judge the Debate from a purely objective point of view?
To me: Anwar won the Debate, hands down.
Shabery was no match to Anwar. Seriously.
Anwar was truly in his element: as gentleman as ever, he was cool & composed as he clearly argued his points, supported by data, facts and figures. He explained his proposed mechanism to reduce the fuel price, all in layman's terms so that it could be understood even by pakciks in the kampungs. He resisted the temptation of using the forum to explain his personal issues even when goaded by Shabery. He didn't even waste any time responding to any of the personal attacks leveled at him by Shabery. He continued to stick to his point on fuel price & the management of the Economy. He gave credible and practical solutions. Hats off to Anwar. I give him full points.
Shabery, on the other hand, was only interested in leveling personal attacks on Anwar from the word go. He kept on going into history, not to make any point on the fuel price, but to criticize Anwar's past actions, even mentioning demonstrations led by Anwar as far back as 1974. What has that got to do with the recent fuel price hike? At this stage, especially in this Debate, Malaysians are not interested to hear about Anwar or his past. We want to know about the Government's plans to ease the burden of the Rakyat following the escalating food prices due to the rise in fuel price. Unfortunately, Shabery failed to explain this convincingly. He didn't answer much of the questions posed to him. He didn't clarify the Government's position clearly. By the 2nd session of the Debate, he had lost all credibility & most of his speech was off topic. Even by standards set in Secondary School level debating competitions, Shabery would have lost. It was quite disappointing.
I felt that the Finance Minister should have represented the Government instead. Why did they field Shabery for the Debate? He was clearly not equipped to face Anwar. I guess no other ministers dared to rise to the challenge.
But credit must be given to the Government for allowing the Debate to be aired live on TV for all Malaysians to see. This would never have have happened in the previous government.
Well, that's my take on the Historic Debate.
Let's hope that this will be the first of many more to come!