Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek is confident of doing well in his debate on the fuel price increase with PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on July 15. “I have always prepared my mind. Do you think it’s tough? I don’t think it’s tough at all. I’m very confident about it,” he told reporters at Parliament lobby.
On whether the debate was brought up at the Cabinet meeting yesterday, Ahmad Shabery said it wasn’t discussed, adding: “The Prime Minister has already issued a statement that it (the debate) is good.” He said Anwar would be putting himself and his party at risk in the debate. “He is a leader and he always assumes that he can become the Prime Minister.
“But I’m nothing. I’m just a local leader in Umno,” he said. Ahmad Shabery also clarified that the debate was organised by Agenda Daily and not him or his ministry. In Taiping, Anwar said he would unveil a mechanism on how Malaysians could enjoy a lower price of petrol and diesel during the debate. He said he would debate with Ahmad Shabery even though he preferred to do it with the Prime Minister and his deputy. Anwar repeated his pledge that if Pakatan Rakyat were to take over the Government, the price of fuel would be reduced the next day.
He said it was irresponsible to compare the rise in the fuel and diesel prices in countries such as India and China unlike Malaysia which produces oil. He also denied that he was eroding Malay interests as alleged by Barisan Nasional. “I am only speaking as their rights had been sidelined by Malay leaders who have betrayed them,” he told a gathering in Batu Gantang. Earlier Gopeng MP Lee Boon Chye, a PKR vice-president, said there was no need for the Government to increase the oil price by 40% as it had given traders a good excuse to raise their prices. “The increase is a case of too much, too fast and made at a wrong time,” he said. - THe STaR ONLiNe
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