Superdebate teammates (pairing politicians)

The Worlds University Debating Championship uses a four team westminster parliamentary format for competitions, with each team comprising two persons. In light of the end of the our own parliamentary session, I figured it would be cool to see who’d make great team mates, and great opponents.

The first proposing team is called opening government, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister team up. I can’t see Badawi and Najib together too long, so I am going to make Abdullah the speaker of the house since he likes to watch and at times pretend to watch while asleep. Either way Badawi is a great viewer of things.

So Najib should be Prime Minister, and we should pair him up with Muhyiddin. Sorry Ali Rustam, despite claiming the Senior Vice-President position all so often, you are from Melaka, and we know as you know, Umno will not get a Melaka boy as Deputy President. You have to stick to type. Plus your less than colourful depiction of those challenging alleged amalay supremacy drops you a few notches in our estimation.

So opening the debate, the Najib-Muhyiddin gambit. Najib has never been good without text, which is ok since most opening speeches are prepared beforehand. Muhyiddin will be the guard dog, the man who will shore up the team. He is Mr Johor afterall, and we all know Johor never turns its back on an Umno President (so far..)

I am still deliberating on what is this team’s strength, other than a willingness to buy out the judging panel.

So leave the boring bits, and let’s to the juicy bits.

The team opposing at the start is called opening opposition, with a leader of Opposition and deputy leader of opposition.

Here we are in a quandary. To all and sundry Anwar Ibrahim is the boss of Pakatan Rakyat, but he is not in Parliament yet ( you will notice there will be a whole bunch of yets in this posting) But anything else would make no sense, so thing debate team will have Anwar Ibrahim as leader of opposition and not Prime Minister yet.

We thought we pick Anwar’s deputy, but as we have learned the hard way, Anwar decides on who supports him or not. He’d be torn between Uncle Lim (Kit Siang) who is not a Dato’ yet and Abdul Hadi Awang who is a Dato’. Now Anwar probably reckons he has enough speaking abilities to make the team tick, so he will go for political expediency and not ability for his number two.

That I think will be Uncle Lim, since DAP have one chief minister, but keep two Pakatan Chief Ministers not from DAP in power. Letting 6 assemblymen PAS out of 59 seats available to be the boss guy is quite gentlemanly irrespective of the state constituency, so Uncle Lim and DAP win the nod for deputy leader of opposition.

Now to the uneducated viewer having a Najib-Muhyiddin vs Anwar-Lim is a bit of a mismatch, since wit is not in abundance in the former. But you never know, there are times Lim goes for the jugular and there are times he completely loses the plot and goes awry. A maverick of sorts.

Now that is the top half of the debate, the lower half is unfilled. Both the government and opposition have closing teams (aptly referred to as closing government and closing opposition). These are the young turks in the party, steaming up the ranks and looking to show support for their leaders, but still wanting to show that they are the real deal.

Two from BN. Em? Okay okay, Khairy. The lad can speak and he does have polish, separate from what he believes in as truth and decency. Khairy does not play to be number two, so if I were Najib or Muhyiddin in the debate I’d be worried even if he is in the same team.

It would be great fun to see Khairy and Anwar go at each other, although doubtlessly Anwar would say he would not bother with someone who has not earned the right to be at the adults table, yet.

The first speaker of the closing teams is called member of government/opposition and the final speakers are the whip.

Khairy is not in a position to choose his teammate or his whip, so we are going to do it for him. We’d ask the BN Supreme Council but I am not sure they will find the resolve, so we had to look at the factors in high consideration in Malaysia now. Oil, Sabah/Sarawak/leadership challenge in Umno/food prices.

So we went with Bung Mokhtar Radin, the Kinabatangan MP. He is from Sabah (tick), Umno man (close enough, tick), uses petrol (tick) and looks like he never lacks food so he must care about food prices (double tick). Alright, we picked him because he has forever supported every callous, sexist, racist and tasteless statements/policies/approaches/decisions of the BN government that we feel he represents a summary of all things vicious in BN.

So he gets stuck in, and I have to apologise to Khairy for sticking to him someone even I would not be able to carry in a debate. Well Khairy, beggars cannot be choosers.

Finally the closing opposition team, let’s mount the young guns from Pakatan. PAS have not had a shout so we are going to go with one of theirs. Khalid Abdul Samad. How can you not? The Mat Sabus of the PAS world are fun for a riot, but you want someone with substance. Yes, yes, we admit of being region-centric and failing to pick someone from the PAS heartland of Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu; but hey we are in one Ummah right so Johor boy now with Selangor credentials wins you many brownie points.

a) He has a minister for a brother and a vocal one at it. Some currency in Umno?

b) show a Johor face without Umno on it

c) he went to a church and spoke about equality. Come on, that is just well, revolutionary in Malaysia.

So we are going to go with the Shah Alam MP, Khalid Abdul Samad.

That leaves us one spot, the spot of opposition whip. I am going to throw in a surprise. First time MP and first time candidate Yusmadi Yusoff from Balik Pulau. The man is a lawyer which may be a downer in many sense, but he is a former university debater so parliamentary debating would not be too foreign to him. What impresses me is that as a PKR man from Penang he has said that PSD scholarships should be given to those deserving irrespective of race and that is a big step up, plus he defeated rising one of wanita Umno’s key candidates Norraesah Mohamad.

So may I present, the killer debate: which team would you pick to win?

All Umno

Opening government Opening opposition

Najib Razak Anwar Ibrahim (PKR)

Muhyiddin Yassin Lim Kit Siang (DAP)

Closing government Closing opposition

Khairy Jamaluddin Khalid Abdul Samad (PAS)

Bung Mokhtar Radin Yusmadi Yusoff (PKR)

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