Thursday, February 28, 2008

Donald booed at church forum at a MEET THE CANDIDATES SESSION..

This is a good idea that can be followed at all levels - at churches, temples, residential areas, etc --

People should meet the candidates and choose the best "Wakil Rakyat" ...and these sessions should not stop at elections but possibly be held once every six months creating a regular forum for the constituents to meet their "wakil rakyat"..and that will ensure that "wakil rakyats's" are doing their job and expressing the view of the RAKYAT and not their own or that of their 'political party or coalition" or some select interest groups...

Donald booed at church forum
Soon Li Tsin | Feb 28, 08 2:38pm

It was proven in St Francis Xavier’s Church last night that comparing how Malaysia is better off than Burma will only result in boos and jeers.

church election forum 280208 donald limThis was the response that Petaling Jaya Selatan (PJS) parliamentary incumbent Donald Lim received when he used the same example on how well the country is doing - several times.

"Under the BN leadership, we are doing much better than Burma ..." he said before he was interrupted by boos and jeers.

In a closed-door election forum attended by 250 parishioners, voters in the church were given a rare chance to hear both Barisan Nasional and opposition candidate slug it out on stage.

The deputy tourism minister was pitted against his opponent PKR’s Hee Loy Sian while Bukit Gasing incumbent Gerakan’s Dr Lim Thuan Seng squared off with DAP’s Edward Lee.

The session kicked off with the soft-spoken Hee introducing himself before explaining PKR manifesto to the audience.

Boos and cheers

This was followed by Donald’s pitch on BN’s past successes and his PJS manifesto for the city which includes battling crime and traffic problems.

church election forum 280208 panelThuan Seng - who was late - gave a speech on his past achievements and how he has given his best to help his constituents.

Last speaker Lee was clearly the ‘star’ of the night when he promised to lobby for local council elections should he be elected and urged the people to be more proactive in handling community issues which drew applause numerous times.

The question-and-answer session resulted in many serious discussion surrounding PJ’s traffic woes and high assessment rates.

Lee drew cheers when answering several questions but Hee remained silent throughout since most of the questions were directed to the two BN candidates.

However, the session was mostly punctuated by humourous moments most notably when Donald developed a trend in his answers by saying ‘That is an interesting question’ and ‘You can call me and I will get it done’ for every question directed to him.

Asked to comment on how to stop talented Malaysians from leaving the country, the three-term PJS parliamentarian said he was ‘okay with it’ before talking about the ‘Malaysia My Second Home’ program which led to boos by the crowd again.

When a member of the audience asked Donald to talk about oil subsidies and profits by Pertonas, he said it was ‘not a state issue’ to more jeers from the audience.

church election forum 280208 crowdThe crowd also laughed at Donald’s expression as he passed the microphone to Thuan Seng several times to avoid questions.

Towards the tail end of the Q&A session, Maxwell Towers Residents Association chairman Victor Oorjitham had challenged the BN to sign a pledge that they help prevent Bukit Gasing from being developed and to get Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to make a public announcement that there will be no development on the 15.52 hectare secondary forest.

The crowd gave a standing ovation as Victor went up on stage to give the respective incumbents the pledge form.

Not signing pledge

However, Thuan Seng declined to sign it but promised to get the Kuala Lumpur City Hall to disclose their development plans.

church election forum 280208 lim thuan seng"I am not going to sign this pledge. When you talk about your rights, about justice and fairness but we must think about other people’s rights.

"I won’t say I can do this and that and perform miracles like somebody’s manifesto, they are bluffing. At the end of the day I will walk away with my conscience clear.

"If you want to vote me in or not this time, it’s your choice. I’ll do what I can for you. I’ll let my records speak for itself," he said.

Meanwhile Donald said he can sign the pledge but is unable to get Abdullah to make a public announcement.

"If you come to see me, we can do something about it. What for I sign something that is impossible. Come see me, we can discuss ways to get around it," he said to the amusement of the audience.

DBKL has approved land owner Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd’s plans to build 142 bungalows on the green lung of Petaling Jaya.

Protests have taken place since 2006 from residents concerned with the possible land erosion due to the hill’s soil composition which may results in landslides.

The Catholic SFX parish has previously held a similar dialogue between the BN and opposition candidates in the 2004 election.

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