The Foreign Correspondents Club of Malaysia hosted a debate between rising stars Senator Gan Ping Sieu, MCA vice president, and Rafizi Ramli, PKR strategic director, on "The Future of My Party" focusing on where political discourse is and should be headed and the role their coalitions play as we enter into general election season.
The debate between Gan and Rafizi centered on whether Malaysian politics can and should shift from communal lines towards issues of good governance and long-term socioeconomic policies. Wan Saiful Wan Jan, chief executive of think-tank IDEAS, which has been active in promoting research, studies and discussion on such policies, moderated the debate.
Gan is an MCA vice-president and was formerly state assemblyman for Mengkibol, Johor. He has been a voice for reform in Najib Razak's government since being appointed deputy youth and sports minister in 2010, calling for changes to laws regulating student participation in politics and a more liberal media space.
Rafizi spent years in corporate management with Petronas before moving to active politics after the last general elections. The PKR strategic director has been a driving force behind Pakatan Rakyat's policymaking, such as the Buku Jingga as well as proposals to revamp the National Automotive Policy and tertiary education system and is seeking a seat in parliament in the upcoming national polls.