The decision by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to ban the live telecast of the MCA deputy presidential debate over NTV7 last night has come as a great shock.
One would have thought that following the recent debates on television involving no less a figure as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that there would be no issue of allowing last night's debate to be televised.
Even Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's debate with Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon was televised live.
Malaysians have shown they are receptive to this new political culture.
A new level of maturity had arrived in which political rivals can debate issues in a sober and competitive fashion.
There is no reason why the debate involving MCA candidates should not be allowed.
There seems to be black hands at work behind the scene.
By banning the live telecast, MCMC has robbed Malaysians and not just Chinese Malaysians, of an opportunity to get to know what candidates for a senior post of a major political party stand for.
It would have offered Malaysians a glimpse at how these candidates perform, and listen to what they have to offer.
Crucially, delegates to this weekend's MCA elections would have had a chance to listen to the candidates before deciding on who they should vote for.
I call on the MCMC to allow the debate to be shown without any further adue.
The MCMC must also give an answer as to why they have banned the live telecast of the debate.