I am happy that through the Twitterverse I am connected to YB Hajjah Fuziah Salleh, Member of Parliament of Kuantan, and Mr. Tan Keng Liang, youth chief of Parti Gerakan Kedah. YB Fuziah is spearheading a campaign to stop the Lynas rare earth refinery; Tan is a proponent that the project can be allowed to proceed.
In our interactions via Twitter, we have come to a juncture where both sides have agreed that they are willing to take part in a debate on the issue. While personally I do not see debates as an ideal way to deal with contentious issues as it is easy for it to degenerate into mere talk, what we want to try to do now is provide a platform for proponents and opponents of the Lynas plant to air their opinions, in the interest of truth. To do so, we will tighten up the debate structure in order to get to the facts of the issue and weed out unnecessary concerns that are not directly related.
For this purpose, I have offered to be the organizer and moderator of a debate between the two parties. As a moderator, I will be fair, firm, no-nonsense and have been known to cut any speaker short if he or she does not follow the rules, regardless of who the person is.
The purpose of this debate will be:
- to find out the truth about the Lynas issue;
- to detach the issue from politics and look squarely at the facts;
- to provide a neutral and balanced platform for factual information to be aired
Title: The Lynas Advance Materials Plant (LAMP) project – Pros and Cons
Debate: Each side will be given 8 minutes to present their constructive speech, followed by a 4 minute summary and rebuttal speech.
Presentation by experts: An expert in the field appointed by each side will present a 20 minute factual explanation to support the points brought up by the speakers. Profile and credentials of the expert will be required to be made clear in the interest of legitimacy.
Question & Answer session: The two speakers and two experts will receive questions from the floor.
Proposition: Mr. Tan Keng Liang
Opposition: YB Hajjah Fuziah Salleh
Each side will appoint one expert in the field to offer a 20 minute explanation and help field questions in the question and answer session.
Audience for the debate session is by invitation only. Each side will be apportioned a maximum of 30 seats in the audience for supporters.
Another 30 seats will be allocated for media representatives.
Debate will be held at zubedy’s training suite in Kuala Lumpur. Address as follows:
Zubedy (m) sdn. bhd.
Level 3, Wisma W.I.M.
7 Jalan Abang Hj Openg
Taman Tun Dr. Ismail
60000 Kuala Lumpur.
14th April 2012 or 5th May 2012 (to be agreed)
- The debate session will be strictly non-political. Both sides and their supporters will not be allowed to bear anything with political connotations, e.g. T-shirts, placards, etc. The whole session will be held in a straightforward setting, conducive for the uncovering of facts, figures and truth. Both parties must ensure that no gathering be allowed to take place at, in the vicinity, or in relation to this debate.
- Speakers, experts and audience must keep to the issue of the pros and cons of the Lynas Advance Materials Plant (LAMP) project. Any arguments brought forth must directly address the issue at hand.
- While politics is out of the picture, Malaysian administration issues related directly to the issue of rare earth refineries and related processes may be discussed, i.e. in talking about implementation of processes, systems of monitoring, etc.
- The debate, presentation by experts and question & answer session will be recorded in video form and streamed live on an online platform for clear information to all who are interested. Media representation will also be invited to record the event.