Distinguished Professor Datuk Dr. Shamsul Amri Baharuddin political debate debates election candidates
Distinguished Professor Datuk Dr. Shamsul Amri Baharuddin

By Khairulanuar Yahaya

KUALA LUMPUR – The candidates for election may use the online sales platform such as Shopee and Lazada to debate on their issues.

The Founding Director of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)’s Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA), Distinguished Prof. Datuk Dr. Shamsul Amri Baharuddin suggested cynically as the candidates only wanted popularity.

“Debates are to get attention. To get the views from the public, people like you, don’t like you. These are all publicity. Ask Shopee. Shopee does that. Lazada can conduct such debates. They would love it as they will get popular from the number of viewers.

“So, I suggest that we privatise political debates in Malaysia using the Shopee and Lazada channels. We can look at the response. Didn’t they think about that? They can find money. This would be the best way. It’s fair,” he said, answering the question from an audience during the KITA Discourse Series on Book Review: Democratic Election in Malaysia: Contest, Choose, Rule and Win broadcasted on Zoom today.

The 700 over pages book was jointly written by the former Chairman of Election Commission (EC), Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman and former journalist, Dr. G. Manimaran.

Besides Dr. Shamsul Amri, the Lecturer of UKM’s Centre for Research in Media & Communication, Associate Professor Dr Chang Peng Kee was also invited to give their review on the book.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rashid said that the debates are among the 49 suggestions in the report by the Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) established during the ruling of the Pakatan Harapan government.

He, who is the Chairman of the committee said that debates between the candidates for the Prime Minister’s post from the contesting parties is very appropriate.

“On the debates, we proposed for that in the ERC report. We really wanted that. It should be held between the Prime Minister and his opponent.

“In Johor, some people mentioned that it should be held among the MB candidates. Let them sit together. We give them a topic relevant to the community development. Get them to debate. That is very suitable during our time as we have very high literacy level of 95 percent.

“Everyone is waiting for something like this. They want to see capable candidates, those with the thinking of a leader. I support this very much,” he said.

Meanwhile, Peng Kee recommended that small political parties should be given the room and coverage in the mass media.

According to him, most dominant parties have ownership in media organisations.

“I see that it has been dominated by parties that have ownership in media organisations,” he said.

The book is retailed at RM140 per unit. It contains three vital components, which is also the only complete work which explains about the law and the 30 election processes in Malaysia.

The book also has complete result charts and analyses of all general elections in Malaysia. -MalaysiaGazette