A tit-for-tat between MCA and DAP has persisted since the eve of the Johor election campaign after MCA president Wee Ka Siong issued a challenge to debate DAP’s Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching.
The Ayer Hitam MP had issued the challenge during MCA’s anniversary dinner in Yong Peng on Feb 25 and Teo immediately accepted it, stating that she would gladly debate Wee who had proposed the topic to be on Chinese education.
However, Wee responded to Teo’s prompt acceptance by shifting his attention to DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng instead.
Wee is now asking that the former deputy education minister bring Lim along for the debate.
“I want to tell Teo who is eager to debate me that there will be no problem for her to participate in the debate as long as Lim agrees to debate me first.
“After I have debated with Lim, I will allocate 20 minutes to debate with her,” Wee said on Facebook.
Wee justified the move as a strategy to “lure out” the DAP secretary-general.
MCA had even prepared posters announcing a debate between Wee and Lim on March 6 in Johor Bahru even though the Bagan MP had yet to respond to the matter.
Wee also shared a picture of a hall booked for the debate with his and Lim’s faces on each side of the stage.
“We will prepare two chairs – one for Lim and one behind Lim for Teo. Teo can back up Lim. DAP will be given the upper hand as they will have two leaders,” Wee declared.
However, Teo appeared to be seeking to turn the tables on Wee. She responded on her Facebook: “Wee, see you on March 6 at 2pm.”
Teo, when contacted, said Wee should debate her first as per the original challenge instead of trying to shift the goalposts.
“Since he has set the place and time, I will be there,” she added.
It is unclear whether Wee will turn up for the debate on Sunday given that Lim will likely strategically let Teo take the lead.
MCA is banking on the Johor polls for a revival as it ups the pressure on DAP which is struggling with supporters’ disillusionment following the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.
MCA is contesting a total of 15 state seats in Johor. It failed to win any in the 2018 general election.
Campaigning for the Johor polls kicked off on Feb 26. Johoreans will go to the polls on March 12. – Malaysiakini