Many fellow members and commentators asked me about my opinion about the Permatang Pauh by election.
I recall very clearly many leaders of Parti Gerakan have , after MArch 8, told the grassroots that if UMNO does not reform within a certain timeframe, they would advocate pulling out of BN.
Whether UMNO has changed in the past few months, or whether the people are living better now than past few months, I do not think i need to elaborate. From my feedback from common people on the grounds, more people are unhappier now than before MArch 8. Even Merdeka Centre’s recent poll shows that the support rating of the PM has declined. And almost 90% of the people do not believe in the sodomy case that is being investigated.
So the answer to whether UMNO has really changed is obvious. It is almost 6 months since the last election, but UMNO leadership is still harping on race. The recent talk with PAS for Malay Unity is obvious that UMNO will never change its race based politics.
So, what is Gerakan, a non-sectorian party by its ideology and belief, doing within BN? I have mentioned many times that it is a square peg in a round hole, and the round hole is going to be round no matter how long the square peg is waiting for the roundness to change to a square one.
My view is therefore, while the leadership is still considering whether to leave or stay in BN, during this transition period, it should NOT participate in any election campaign waged by UMNO. To wage a war against a party with similar non-racial ideology in order to help a raced based party would be hypocritical, especially now that the majority of the people in urban areas would like to see less of racial politics but more of a politics based on social needs.
If the leadership really intends to go back to its ideology, go back to its grassroots, and go back to the peole, as promised after the March 8 debacle, then this is the time to send a signal to the people about the sincerity of its intention.