KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's refusal to debate with his former ally, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, shows that he might have something to hide.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Anwar "should be a man".
"This is not going to help Anwar's credibility as opposition leader. He should be a real man and face what Raja Petra has to say,"
he said after launching the Federal Territory Umno election machinery yesterday.
Muhyiddin, who is Umno deputy president, said the opposition-led Selangor government was not focused, giving more priority to politics and neglecting administrative matters.
He said based on feedback from state leaders and the public, there were still many unresolved issues within the state.
"We have received reports from businesses and traders saying they have to pay higher costs and had to go through many layers of red tape while dealing with the state.
"In my understanding, as the state government, it should be reducing bureaucracy and costs if businesses are to remain competitive."
Muhyiddin said the Selangor government had also continuously failed to cooperate with the Federal Government.
"For example, when the Education Ministry planned to build a school, the state government refused to release the land, claiming that it was a state reserve land.
"If it is fighting for the people as it claims to be, it should not stop the Federal Government from carrying out projects that benefit the people."
On the possibility of a third Bersih rally, Muhyiddin said such street demonstrations were meaningless.
He said Bersih organiser Datuk S. Ambiga, who claimed Bersih 3.0 would be held if demands for electoral reform were not met, was trying to gain back the momentum that the opposition seemed to be losing.
"It is a political gimmick. She may claim that her intentions are apolitical, but we all know that is her trick."
Muhyiddin said anyone who was unhappy with the government should approach it directly.
"(In the case of Bersih), the government has heard many views and taken several measures, including setting up a parliamentary select committee for electoral reform.
"We are open, they can come to see us. Demonstrations will not solve anything -- what matters are the issues involved and what we are doing to address them."