Lim-Koh debate on Penang land issue is on

It is all systems go for the public debate between Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and his predecessor Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon today.

The organiser, online news portal Agenda Daily, said preparations for the event had been smooth so far, with only the names of the panellists for either side yet to be submitted.

Each speaker is entitled to pick a panellist who will ask a question to both Lim and Dr Koh.

It is understood that Lim has picked news portal Malaysian Insider political editor Wan Hamidi Hamid to be by his side while Dr Koh has yet to make his decision known.

They will be debating on “Kisah Benar Kontroversi Tanah di Pulau Pinang” (The True Story Behind the Land Controversy in Penang).

The debate will be at 9pm at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka in Kuala Lumpur, and will be aired live on TV9. A repeat will be telecast at 12.30am.

Learning from their earlier experience of organising the debate on fuel prices between Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek and PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Agenda Daily editor Hanafiah Man said Lim and Dr Koh had been advised to select journalists on their panel.

“This is because journalists are used to asking probing questions,” he said.

Hanafiah said the security personnel for the event had also been briefed to ensure that there will be no misunderstanding between them and media personnel.

A scuffle had broken out between pressmen and security guards at the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka after the Shabery-Anwar debate when members of the press found themselves locked in.

The audience for the Lim-Dr Koh debate will be limited to 200 invited guests.

Lim and Dr Koh will speak alternately six times, taking five minutes each time. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka chairman Datuk Johan Jaafar will moderate the debate.

In Penang, when asked whether he was prepared for the debate Lim replied: “Ready is as ready is, isn’t it? You are dealing with a person who has 18 years of experience.”

At a separate press conference in Butterworth, Dr Koh said he would go to the debate with “an open mind and heart”.

“Lim has made so many allegations so I am the defendant going in with a handicap,” he said.

by The Star

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