Syed Saddiq has finally joined the “FEW” Malaysians in BBC HARDtalk. Here is my review about his session. Among the issues discussed during the talk include Voting age, education and youth unemployment , Mahathir and his ability to reform, minority issues particularly his aide being a gay advocate, sedition act and the recent issue with Israel and swimming competition.
First, as an orator and debater, we have to applaud him for his confident and conduct on the show. He did pretty well from the oratory point of view judging by his age and experience.
Second, most of the issues are not challenging and controversial. There is no right or wrong answer. So you end up hearing a lot of bla bla bla from Saddiq (what he is good at). You can call it idealism but some may opt for rhetoric. For instance, issue like voting age, education and youth unemployment , Mahathir ability to reform and sedition act, all we hear is New Government will, New Government will, New Government will, or Mahathir will, Mahathir will, Mahathir will. But whether they actually will or true is a big question. Judging by the performance of the current government after 9 months and the path they are going through, we really doubt that. Point like empowering vocational studies to counter youth unemployment and updating university courses are nothing new. They have been understood and implemented long ago. His idea about lowering the voting age is also nothing new and highly debatable about the actual benefit and outcome. His solution to sedition acts seems to be over the top without a clear execution plan on how it will be achieved. His points and answers are very opinionated hence not worth to be taken seriously.
The only controversial issue he had to deal with is regarding his aide, Nurman who is a gay advocate. When pressed, Saddiq admitted that he did offer him a position. Well, I thought he denied it earlier. (https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/bahasa/2018/07/06/syed-saddiq-nafi-lantik-pejuang-lgbt-jadi-pegawai-khas-kementerian). He even has the cheek to ask the host to as Nurman himself. What a poor way to divert from an issue which he was directly involve. Regarding the Israel and the swimming competition he spoke frankly about the decision of Malaysia government. But then, there is nothing spectacular about his arguments because anyone with a bit of gut can bombard on Israel atrocities against humanity. You don’t need someone like Saddiq to tell the world about what Israel has done and what is the right thing to do against Israel. So again, there is nothing new.
Syed Saddiq is indeed a talented orator. But in order for him to progress, he has to move out of his idealism and rhetoric and start to make things happen. The time as debating champion where you just give ideal thought without a clear execution plan is over. The time as opposition where you can promise rhetoric without knowing how it can be implemented is also over. You are actually the person sitting on the chair to make things happen and we want to see how you make them happen.
This is nowhere near HARDTalk. The issues are opinionated hence the answers. So, it is not to be taken seriously. I wish the host has more information about how the current government trampled over their own manifesto and spit on their promises to counter Saddiq argument and see what he has to answer. A simple question like how they expect the reform when they violated their very own manifesto in appointing the AG will be a good starting point. He can also question Saddiq about the dropping of Lim Guan Eng corruption case without clear reason and how we can expect new Malaysia to be better when corruption case can be swept under the carpet because of your political alliances. So Syed Saddiq, you may be the FEW Malaysians on BBC HARDTalk, but then the talk itself is nothing hard.