JOHOR BARU: Budget 2022 must take priority and the debate with Bagan DAP MP Lim Guan Eng over the national cabotage policy can be held after that, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).

“I’m not afraid of the debate and will not run away from it. But I urge him not to rush to have it as I have important Cabinet matters to attend to.

“We are about to table Budget 2022 on Oct 29, so I have a lot of work to do. My priority is to serve as the Transport Minister.

“Let us be done with the tabling of the Budget first, then I’ll be free any time.

“I’m suggesting Oct 30 or 31, but I will leave him to decide when he is free. The important thing is that we can debate the matter professionally,” the MCA president said in his speech during the Johor MCA Youth and Wanita general assembly held virtually on Sunday (Oct 10).

During Minister’s Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat on Sept 30, Dr Wee challenged Lim to a debate over the cabotage policy.

The challenge came after Lim asked Dr Wee whether the reimposition of the cabotage policy for submarine cable repair works had caused several tech giants to skip Malaysia in plans to install undersea cables to boost Internet connectivity in the region.

“I’m ready to debate with Bagan. He used to claim that I’m not qualified to be the MCA president. So, I’m issuing this challenge now.

“Let’s debate for an hour, any topics can be discussed,” Dr Wee said.

In a Facebook post, Dr Wee said that there was no need for Lim to attack him before the debate.

“Constantly attacking me before our debate by bringing up various issues will only distract from the truth and turn our debate into a war of words before it even happens,” he wrote.

On another matter, when touching on the possibility of Melaka having a state election following the withdrawal of support for Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali by four elected representatives, Dr Wee said in his speech that Melaka would be a good training ground for MCA to look into ways to reach out to voters in the new normal if state elections were to be called.

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we can no longer hold ceramah in the usual way or hold dinners with the people.

“This would be a good training ground for us to look into ways to engage with voters following the pandemic,” he said.

He asked party members to look out for interactive ways to reach out to the voters, especially the younger people who will be voting for the first time in the next general election.



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