Anwar Ibrahim, the former Malaysian
deputy prime minister 
Is free media necessary for a democracy? 

Does democracy have to be home-grown in order for it to be sustainable?

Is democracy really the way forward in Asia?

There remains much skepticism in Asia about the applicability and future prospects of democracy in the region.

Such doubts have been raised mainly by Asia's authoritarian leaders, who have long maintained that "cultural" differences between Western Europe and Asia make the "Western concept" of democracy and human rights inapplicable in Asia.

Ton-Nu-Thi Ninh, the vice-chair of Vietnam's
Foreign Affairs Committee
Indeed, many politicians in Asia say that the West's attitude is patronising and betrays a lack of understanding of the region.

In a special episode of People & Power based in Kuala Lumpur, Samah El-Shahat presents an engaging discussion between Anwar Ibrahim, the former Malaysian deputy prime minister, Kishmore Mahbubani, Singapore's former ambassador to the UN; Madame Ton-Nu-Thi Ninh, of Vietnam's Foreign Affairs Committee, and Kavi Chongkittavorn, the editor of The Nation newspaper in Thailand.

Watch this episode of People & Power here:

Part 1:

Part 2: 

This episode of People & Power aired from Wednesday November 21, 2007 at the following times GMT:

Wednesday: 14:30
Thursday: 01:30 and 13:30
Friday: 06:30 and 20:30
Saturday: 03:00


To contact us click on 'Send your feedback' at the top of the page

Watch Al Jazeera English programmes on YouTube

Join our debates on the Your Views page