KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 — PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli was perplexed at his debate opponent from PAS Mohd Syahir Sulaiman who was reading from his notes instead of debating him during tonight’s hotly awaited nationally televised debate on the state of the nation’s economy.
Rafizi said Syahir never answered any of his questions properly and appeared to pluck information from thin air.
He said his opponent was at one point flipping pages as he read from his notes seemingly unsure of himself and of what he was reading.
Syahir accused Rafizi and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of having no idea on how to tackle the rising cost of goods and depreciating ringgit, whereas Rafizi said the plans the government had implemented were bearing fruit.
Syahir brought out his plans for Malaysia’s economy which was a PowerPoint presentation that was telecast live to which he referred to occasionally while reading from his notes.
He repeated himself several times and brought up some inaccuracies which prompted Rafizi to chide him.
“I thought we were debating but you seem to be reading from a script and you never answered my question. This is the smartest guy from PAS but he’s going around in circles.
“You mentioned Kelantan being a poor state and are blaming the federal government for their plight but they are one of the richest states in Malaysia compared to Melaka and Negeri Sembilan and get a larger federal allocation yearly. Yet they cannot do their jobs well so how is it the federal government’s fault?
“Not only that, you don’t seem to understand how government expenditures are separated from administrative and development funds. If you’ve paid attention during Parliament sessions you would know this,” said Rafizi.
Syahir was trying to paint the federal government as the villain and cause of the poor economy nationwide as well as the current woes in Kelantan.
He claimed that Kelantan was denied the oil royalties and was suffering for three decades due to it.
Rafizi then pounced on Syahir at the end of the debate stating that the latter had no sound ideas and policies that could help the country’s economy.
He said Syahir was merely “copying and pasting” stuff he found on the internet.
“We need economists who understand the economy, not people who read from papers and not only that some copy and paste thing so they can make TikTok videos and show off on social media.
“I know people don’t like to hear this but Syahir is the new generation of young leaders from PAS with the potential to be politicians who can look after the economy in the future.
“In spite of that, I do hope that one day if PAS is given the mandate to look after our economy they will not turn it into another Kelantan,” he added.