While debates give its audience a better perspective of a topic, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that Malaysia does not have a culture of seeing its prime ministerial candidates debate in public.
Ismail said that, in fact, holding public debates is not beneficial to anybody, while he turn down the proposal from the Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for the two of them to battle each other on policy matters in the run-up to the November 19 general election.
“Debating is not our culture. We have never done it as it does not bring about any results.”
“If we let him debate, he will mention his promise and manifesto, and he would even promise the moon and the stars. So I think it is not necessary,” he said.
Ismail said that they had never organised a debate before elections because the government is formed based on people’s confidence in them.
Earlier, Anwar suggested that the prime ministerial candidates from the three main coalitions should debate each other ahead of the 15th General Election.
He said the debate should focus on policy-related matters and not insult or accuse the other.
Ismail promise clean candidates
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said the Barisan Nasional is tightening its vetting process for electoral candidates and they would choose candidates that were filtered by the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, as well as the Islamic Development Department.
“We want to know whether the proposed candidates got married in Thailand or have not paid for nafkah,” he said.
Commenting on the application from Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) to become a BN component party, he said they are still evaluating it.