Former Suhakam commissioner Simon Sipaun reiterates his call to politicians across the political divide to engage in public debates for the benefit of the electorate.
Sipaun, who is also the head of Democracy Sabah (Desah) made this call at the end of the fourth debate organised by Desah at Taman Antarabangsa community hall in Kota Kinabalu last Sunday.
He also said that he was very encouraged by the spirited youths from DAP youths (Dapsy), Mahasiswa (non-party affiliated graduates) youth group, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and Star who had contributed their ideas and views be they personal or of their party’s stance and policy.
“Youths today are more aware of their rights. Their expectations are higher,” he said saying how he wished to be a youth again like them.
Political debate in public could help to resolve the issue of both the government and the opposition telling the public that their opponents were fooling them and should be totally rejected by the electorate.
Both the opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and prime minister Najib Abdul Razak during their visits to Sabah told their audience that their opponents were fooling them and should be rejected in the next general election.
Earlier that day, Najib said at a meeting in Tambunan during a ground-breaking for the KDM College at Pinsompuruan Square:“You can fool all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time, they (opposition) have been fooling the people all this while … they don’t walk the talk and I hope the people in Tambunan can see that.”
Sipaun said the Desah debate had really engaged his mind to ponder and think deeply on the various pressing issues affecting youths as well as the state and country.
Thanking the organiser MC Jan Chow and her team for a well-run debate, Sipaun said, “Youths are our future. It is in their future that they can always do something positive. While we plan for the future, we also need to learn from the past.”
The fourth Desah debate moderated by June Rubis, which was participated by three debaters from four teams focused on the theme: ‘What are the primary needs of the youth? Are the existing parties meeting their needs?’
“We are much better informed from such debates, and if politicians who are supposedly lawmakers in the state assembly or parliament, it is part of their job to engage in quality debates for the benefit of the people whom they have sworn to serve well,” said Sipaun.
The dearth of quality debates and sufficient time period allocated for questions and answers coupled with some of the no substance people’s representatives have made our august legislatures into token rubber stamps for the executive branch of the government in the past.
As for the executive branch of the government, Sipaun said, “They have to justify their actions they have taken in authority.”
“Politicians who avoid public debates perhaps have something to hide,” he said when approached by CJ.MY for further comments after the debate.
Sipaun again reiterated that Desah is apolitical and none of the members are member of any political party in Malaysia