Monday, September 29, 2008

Barisan leaders to Gerakan chief: Make a stand!

Barisan leaders to Gerakan chief: Make a stand!
By CHRISTINA CHIN and ANN TAN


GEORGE TOWN: Penang Barisan Nasional leaders want Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon to make a stand on the party’s position in the coalition.

Penang Umno liaison committee deputy chairman Datuk Abdul Rashid Abdullah said the former chief minister must determine the direction of his party.

“As a leader, he must be responsible to the coalition. He needs to set the course for Gerakan and make his position clear. After all, a fish rots from the head down.

“I regret that we have parti perosak (party spoilers) within Barisan. These factions can leave if they want to,” he said.

On Sunday, Dr Koh said among the options being considered by the party was to join Pakatan Rakyat; to stay with the ruling coalition; or to leave Barisan and become independent.

He said based on party sentiment, more than 60% wanted to leave Barisan but the party was still assessing the situation.

State MCA deputy chief Datuk Lau Chiek Tuan said Dr Koh should disclose his personal stand.

“Don’t hide behind members’ opinions. Tell us what you want - you are the party’s acting president,” he said.

Penang Gerakan Youth chief Oh Tong Keong thinks the party should give Barisan “one or two years” before deciding.

Oh, who is gunning for the party’s number two post in the national Youth wing, said such an important decision cannot be made in a “hot political” climate.

“All Barisan component parties are going through trying times. Let’s wait for the Umno leadership transition to see if the relationship between coalition parties can improve.

“The next general election would probably be in 2012. We can always call for an emergency general meeting in one or two years time if we want to pull out of Barisan - it’s not too late,” he said, adding that party members should not be hasty.

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/9/29/nation/20080929153737&sec=nation

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