SEMENYIH: Independent candidate Kuan Chee Heng (pic) will not “chicken out” and insists he will take part in the debate organised by Bersih 2.0 for the candidates in the Semenyih by-election.
“There are rumours in the media that I chickened out of the Bersih debate, but I’ll be there. God willing, I’ll be there,” he told reporters at the media centre near here yesterday.
However, Kuan, said he is not looking to engage in a political war of words with other contestants.
He sees the platform as a way to discuss plans to help the people.
“It’s not a debate actually. It’s about looking for solutions (for the people).
“What you are looking at is sharing experience, gaining notes with each other. I welcome everyone to sit together. It’s not for our win (in the election). It’s for the people’s win,” he said.
Bersih 2.0 plans to conduct a debate for the candidates at the University of Nottingham Malaysia on Feb 25.
On whether he would declare his assets as Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) candidate Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul did, he said he has nothing to hide.
“Everyone already knows what assets I have, I have ambulance assets and 10-sen taxi assets. It’s the assets of the people,” he said, referring to the taxi and ambulance service he provides.
When asked why he had only officially kickstarted his campaign yesterday, he clarified he had been busy making plans for his campaign.
He also said that his election machinery would only be launched this Friday (Feb 22) as he and his 40-odd volunteers do not have the resources of political parties.
“We have to be like the ‘police’. We have to move in a way that is organised and systematic,” said the former cop.
He added that he plans to focus on solving issues for the voters in Semenyih, not wanting to spend too extravagantly on election materials.
“For example, one election flag can buy you a 5kg bag of rice,” he said.
Meanwhile, PSM has called out its opponents in the Semenyih by-election for declining to take part in a debate.
PSM central committee member S. Arutchelvan said the refusal of Barisan Nasional candidate Zakaria Hanafi and Pakatan Harapan candidate Muhammad Aiman Zainali to debate went against the spirit of Malaysia Baru’s democracy.
“A candidate should allow themselves to be accessible so they can be evaluated by the rakyat,” said Arutchelvan in a statement here.
Nik Aziz has expressed willingness to participate in the debate.
“Before becoming the federal government, Pakatan believed that the debating culture should be encouraged and that all candidates should try to convince voters by expressing their ideas in an open debate.
“Did this change after they became government?” asked Arutchelvan.