Monday, August 18, 2008

Perak Gerakan mulls calling for party to leave BN

Perak Gerakan mulls calling for party to leave BN
By Humayun Kabir

IPOH (Aug 17, 2008): Fed-up with racial and religious sentiments played up by certain Barisan Nasional component parties for their own political millage, Perak Gerakan is contemplating calling for the party to leave the coalition.

The majority of the 378 Gerakan delegates who attended the party state delegates meeting today, expressed disgust at the fanning of racial and religious issues which is causing much anxiety and concern among Malaysians at large.

"Racial and religious sentiments have been fanned by a few component parties for the past five months since March 8, causing much uneasiness and fear among Malaysians as to the path the country is heading to," said Perak Gerakan chairman Datuk Chang Ko Youn.

"Most of the delegates at today’s party meeting expressed their wish that Gerakan pull out of BN as they are unhappy over the fanning of sensitive issues that would bring disunity among fellow Malaysians."

"That this is against the party’s principles which advocates the concept of Malaysia for all Malaysians which is free from racial and religious politics," he told reporters after the meeting officiated by Acting Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.

Present at the meet were party adviser Tun Lim Keng Yaik, National Youth chairman Datuk Mah Siew Keong and senator Datuk Dr S. Vijayaranam.

Chang said the move to leave BN has taken shape last year by many party members but this momentum to leave the BN coalition only gained speed after March 8th general elections.

"This issue will be debated in the party’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in October and a decision (whether to leave or stay with BN) will be taken at the meeting."

Similar views were also voiced by PGRM National chairwoman Datuk Tan Lian Hoe who said that many state as well as federal level wanita party delegates had voiced such a call to leave BN.

"We will forward the request to the party. The issue is expected to be debated extensively and hotly before a decision is made on the matter," said Tan, who is also state Wanita chief and Deputy Information Minister.

Similar sentiments were also expressed by newly elected state Youth Chief Chuah Chee Kuan who said it is about time that Malaysians think as one instead of along racial lines.

Later, Koh who was with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Permatang Pauh to campaign for Barisan Nasional said the issue of Gerakan leaving BN does not exist.

Commenting on Tan' statement asking Gerakan to leave BN because Umno was too racist, Koh said Tan was merely reflecting the feedback of the people.

"I was shocked to hear her making the statement. (She) as a Deputy Information Minister will get a lot of feedback from the people and I think what she was saying was the voice of the people.

"I am still unable to contact her, but the party will talk about it," he told reporters when the question was posed to Abdullah.

"The issue of Gerakan leaving BN does not exist," he stressed.

seals: this is the right move GERAKAN, MCA and MIC should follow. A party is formed out of peoples voice. If you get such feedback from people (to move out of BN) then do so.

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