Gerakan must review its position in BN

A blog reader, Kenny, alerted me to the news in malaysiakini that Wanita chief of Gerakan, Tan Lian Hoe, who is currently one of the two Gerakan MPs elected in the last GeneralElection, spoke out against race-based politics of UMno and she even suggested that Gerakan leaves BN. The Head of Perak Gerakan, Chang Ko Youn, has also openly asked members to raise the “pull out issue” in the party National Delegates Conference due in early October.

I salute these leaders, as well as Dr Toh Kin Woon, who has openly endorsed Anwar for the Permatang Pauh seat. Dr Toh is known for his independent mind. In fact, there is a sizeable number of grassroots that is clamouring the party to pull out from BN, as these grassroots view UMNO as beyond hope.

It is interesting to see how the top leadership respond to these calls. Gerakan is not known for the fierce infighting that is the hall mark of MCA. In fact, another epic battle is shaping for MCA, with a new Team B taking on a new Team B. But Gerakan is not known for that . Fight in Gerakan is subtle. Issues are often settled with discussion and negotiation. But this time, a strong undercurret is building up, no thanks in a way perhaps to this blogger who was one of the very first to ask party leadership to pull out from BN as early as in 2006 party dialogue. I have since written numerous articles and spoke on many occassions to the dismay of many leaders  to argue why Gerakan should not be in BN anymore.

Gerakna joined BN a few years after it won Penang in 1969 . In the aftermath of May 13, the pragmatic leadership thought that perhaps it was time for reconciliation of the various ethnic group. The leadership also viewed that by joinig BN, Federal funds could be solicited for the development of Penang, which at that time was facing a bleak future after losing its entreport status. Tun Dr Lim chong Eu was able to transform Penang from a trading port into a successful industrial state and thus help to elevate the standard of living of the People. It did so by shelfing its ideology of a fair and equal society, to take part in a BN that was based on racial politics.

However, after more than 30 yrs in BN, what has Gerakan done to influence UMNO? UMNO in fact has been perceived to change from a truly nationalist paty into a decadend organisation that cares only for certain interest. As a result, good governance has gone done the drain. Institutions were compromised.  Gerakan is unable to even stop this rots, what more to say about influencing direction of the whole coalition? It has failed and failed miserably. Even the people of Penang rejected it during the last GE. For a party which has ruled Penang for 30odd years, it was unable to win even a single seat in Penang.

It is really time for its leaders, if they still subscribe to the party ideology as they have promised after March 8, to review its role within this race based coalition. Otherwise, the party can never hope to be relevant again..


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. james loh
    Aug 18, 2008 @ 13:04:31

    over due ! there is nothing to lose to hold anymore at b n.eventually yr gras roots are leaving in flocks..the battle cries for recruiting new members is just a glimick.just dont have a theme.either gerakan change or vanish.the wind of change is so obvious!


  2. Truth Seeker
    Aug 18, 2008 @ 14:20:26


    DSAI, Are you someone with a vision burning inside that seeks to manifest? Do you see yourself as a visionary?

    Visionary leaders are the builders of a new dawn, working with imagination, insight, and boldness. They present a challenge that calls forth the best in people and brings them together around a shared sense of purpose. They work with the power of intentionality and alignment with a higher purpose. Their eyes are on the horizon, not just on the near at hand. They are social innovators and change agents, seeing the big picture and thinking strategically.

    What is it that makes a visionary become a visionary leader? A visionary may dream wonderful visions of the future and articulate them with great inspiration. A visionary is good with words. But a visionary leader is good with actions as well as words, and so can bring his vision into being in the world, thus transforming it in some way. More than words are needed for a vision to take form in today’s world. It requires leadership and heartfelt commitment.

    There is a profound interconnectedness between the leader and the whole, and true visionary leaders serve the good of the whole. They recognize that there is some truth on both sides of most polarized issues in our society today. They search for solutions that transcend the usual adversarial approaches and address the causal level of problems. They find a higher synthesis of the best of both sides of an issue and address the systemic root causes of problems to create real breakthroughs.

    A visionary leader is effective in manifesting his or her vision because he creates specific, achievable goals, initiates action and enlists the participation of others.

    What are the qualities and abilities of true visionary leaders? What is the mysterious inner process within leaders that enables them to work their magic and radiate the charisma that mobilizes others for a higher purpose?

    Visionary leadership is based on a balanced expression of the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical dimensions. It requires core values, clear vision, empowering relationships, and innovative action. When one or more of these dimensions are missing, leadership cannot manifest a vision.

    Corinne McLaughlin


  3. romerz
    Aug 18, 2008 @ 17:37:28

    It was reported in Khoo Kay Peng’s blog at 3.30 pm today that Dr Toh Kin Woon has resigned as member of Gerakan due to “strong pressure”.

    Keep this up and the party may find that it is only a party of ‘eunuchs’ with all the good men and women with conscience gone.


  4. Gerakan Member
    Aug 18, 2008 @ 20:38:08

    This is the way too silence critic and path the way to an uncontested presidency of the party. First Lee Kah CHoon, then Tan Kee Kwong, now Toh Kin Woon. These are all with potential to challenge for top position and win, since all are well respected in the party.

    No one now is left that can have the credibility to take on the incumbent proUMNO team. What is pity.

    In KL, KTK has taken over the chairmanship to pave for himself to enter Segambut, Gerakan’s traditional safe seat. All those who are critical of leadership in KL will be kicked aside., including you, my friend.

    Your days are numbered.


  5. pohwatchdog
    Aug 18, 2008 @ 21:30:10

    UMNO need to be reform, rejuvenate and reinventing
    Is it time UMNO need to be more tolerant toward a multi religious, multi cultural and multi racial politic situation in Malaysia? Is PAS ready to play big brother role? What have really happen to PKR? Will PKR survive this PP by election? It is time for all Malaysian to have a good government, transparency and fair government.

    We need to have courage leaders to voice out for the man in the street and not just slogan shouting only. Dare those In Gerakan to pull out from BN? Not just paly play or say say only. Is it just good for power play? This is time to win back the hearts and minds ofthe people as conscience of Barisan Nasional. What is our aim in BN? We must be brave to counter current issues rationally and precisely.


  6. veonszu
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 00:09:48

    What will be, will be, no matter what.

    On the night before Anwar was to be brought to court again to face yet another sodomy charge, I met up with Dr. Toh and had a chat over a glass of milk. In a way we agreed that all was not well with this nation . And then he confided to me that he was seriously considering to resign from the party. Unlike other time, I found no reasons to dissuade him. I just mumbled something like if at all this were to take place, just let it be a quiet way of retreat. Much like the saying: “the old soldier never dies, he just fades away.” (Ya. I remembered vividly what happened on that night because it was also the day I got ambushed by Red Guards vie sms over the comment I made in my blog)

    Alas, this was not to be. Dr. Toh officially resigned from the party one day after he openly endorsed Anwar’s reform agenda ,but at the same time made clear he was not going to join PKR. And it made headllines. The rest, as they say, is history.

    This afternoon, I received an email from a friend and I think it worths reproducing here (with his kind permission,of course) in toto for our reflection.

    more please read:


  7. joehancl
    Aug 21, 2008 @ 11:16:27

    KOH tsu koon, dia mickey mouse. Dia ta boleh lari. Dia di tekan oleh UMno. Dia lari, lubang2 nya di korek3 dan di bocor oleh UMno. Apa macam Gerakan?


  8. 2g
    Aug 21, 2008 @ 21:47:29

    Dr. Hsu,

    I did not read this post when commented on your other post of ‘square peg’.

    It seemed we have the same thinking. What for to wait until October? Gerakan already ‘koyak’.


  9. Dr Hsu
    Aug 21, 2008 @ 22:24:30

    2g, see my comments to you in the post National heroes and political cpampaign


  10. veonszu
    Aug 22, 2008 @ 01:05:47

    Hi Dr,

    The eventual downfall of BN is a foregone conclusion. All the omens that are usually associated with the collapse of an Empire/kingdom that we read in history, like corruptions, abuse of powers, sex scandals and many more, can clearly be seen here. Unfortunately, Gerakan, a party that once pioneered non-sectarian politics, has been badly hit. I Do agree with Dr. and most of our friends here, breaking away from BN is no longer one of the options but rather the only solution to the party.

    Yet, I could sense that surprisingly many of our young members who are supposed to be more idealistic and passionate do not have this sense of urgency and awareness. They still seem to think that the political paradigm change is only temporary. And Gerakan can still ride on BN to bounce back come next GE.

    Yes. I think this is a decision of Now or Never, Do or Die and Right or Wrong.


  11. veonszu
    Aug 30, 2008 @ 21:23:54

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