Monday, September 29, 2008

Gerakan Mulls Quitting BN If Umno's Racist Policies Not Curbed

A predominantly ethnic Chinese party threatened Monday to desert Malaysia's ruling coalition if it does not curb racial discrimination, just weeks after another minority party quit amid growing dissent in the government.

Leaders of the Gerakan party estimate more than half their members want the party to leave Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's National Front coalition, largely due to frustrations regarding policies linked to racial issues, said party vice president Teng Hock Nan.

Abdullah has been struggling to keep the 13-party coalition together after it performed poorly in March general elections. The coalition retained power with less than its longtime two-thirds parliamentary majority and ceded five of Malaysia's 13 states to the opposition.

Gerakan has two lawmakers in parliament, and while the National Front would not lose its parliamentary majority if the party quit, the move would be a massive blow to morale — and could prompt more parties to desert the coalition.

Officials in Gerakan, which lost control of the northern industrial Penang state, believe leaving the National Front is "one of the options" if the coalition is "not willing to initiate drastic changes," particularly to curb racial discrimination, Teng said.

Minority leaders accuse the Malay Muslim-dominated government of neglecting their communities in economic, social and religious policies. Discontent over issues such as an affirmative action program for Malays spurred minorities to vote for the opposition in March.

Earlier this month, the Sabah Progressive Party, a small, largely ethnic Chinese party, deserted the National Front to become independent because of disenchantment with Abdullah's leadership.

Gerakan Secretary General Chia Kwang Chye said party officials are likely to discuss the possibility of leaving the coalition at their annual congress on Oct. 11. Teng said the party has set no deadline for a decision, adding that it has no immediate plans to join opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's three-party alliance.

The National Front, dominated by Abdullah's United Malays National Organization, has ruled Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957. It has been in turmoil for months amid persistent demands by many government members for Abdullah's resignation.

Coalition officials have also been jittery amid Anwar's claim that he has persuaded scores of government lawmakers to defect in a bid to topple Abdullah's administration. The ruling party has indicated Abdullah may step down by March and hand power to his deputy, Najib Razak. (International Herald Tribune)

***** Better late than never. The leaders in Gerakan who have the courage should get together and negotiate an exit as soon as possible. They should not listen to the opinion of people like Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon who if he has his way would keep on grovelling at the feet of umnoputeras until he decides to retire or quit as party leader.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Koh Tsu Koon has any clout left he should pull out of the bankrupt UMNO/BN right away without having to wait any further. UMNO is about to self distruct, will all the in fighting and inbreeding of corrupted leaders, this has already spread to BN long time ago and any further wait would only cause Gerakan to be viewed in the same light. Show some balls KTK, and all the rest in Gerakan, you are no longer relevant so it does not matter if you leave the racist party umno now.
Screw Umno

7:08 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough already...!!!

Koh Tsu Koon should get a move on it or move aside. He's too deep into the comfort zone.

I believe his members will move if he's still rooted to the status quo. By then it will be a redundant party & to leave BN will only be academic. Mark my word.


10:49 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous SM said...

KTK is just going on & on about this but he will never suggest to leave BN!
I bet you more than 60% of the grassroot members want to leave this Racist BN Govt.
Yesterday afternoon, the NTV7 afternoon news had a survey for the viewers..."Should Gerakan leave BN". Guess what? 100% of the viewers said "Yes"!!!!!

3:39 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gerakan never had the balls, even when Tan Chee Khoon was in the party. They will NOT leave BN until it falls apart. Then they will head straight to PKR and ask for a place in PR. At that MCA will become a regional party in Johor with a famous actor as its leader. However his co-star will remain outside our country.

10:06 AM GMT+8  

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