Sunday, September 07, 2008

Gerakan may quit Barisan

Gerakan may quit Barisan

KUALA LUMPUR: Gerakan will leave Barisan Nasional if it cannot play a "meaningful role" within the coalition, said acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.

The party is now reviewing its role in Barisan, he said, just a day after he had declared Gerakan had no intention of quitting the coalition.

But that declaration had been tempered with the caution that Barisan must change to cope with the political reality and move away from race-based politics.

“Look at our symbol. The dacing (scales) stand for equality and fairness. We must go back to our original spirit,” he had said.

Dr Koh had also earlier warned that Barisan may reach a “point of no return” if racist remarks and anti-social behaviour continued to tarnish its image, implicitly referring to Umno Bukit Bendera division chairman Datuk Ahmad Ismail’s alleged racist statements.

Ahmad was reported to have described Malaysian-Chinese as immigrants and squatters. He has denied the reports, saying journalists had quoted him out of context.

He has also refused to apologise for the alleged remarks, citing support from the 13 Umno divisions in Penang, and demanded that Dr Koh and Chinese community leaders apologise to him for asking him to express regret.

Ahmad also said that he was sure MCA would garner unanimous support from the Chinese if Gerakan broke away from Barisan, which saw Dr Koh accusing him of "trying to drive a wedge" between Gerakan and MCA.

seals: GERAKAN you are on track.

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