In most of the meetings with grassroots, the Gerakan leaders will cite 3 questions and their answers to justify their stay in BN. The leaders often say that when they ask these 3 following questions to the ordinary people in traditional Gerakan strongholds in Penang, Klang Valley and Kinta Valley, they get these answers:
1. Will the people support BN in another General election?
The answer in Gerakan’s traditional urban and suburban areas will be “No”.
2. Should Gerakan leave BN?
The overwhelming response, especially from the Penangites, is a big “YES”
3. In a 3 cornered fight between Gerakn, DAP and BN, which party would you support?
The answer is ‘DAP” because the people thought even with Gerakan out of BN, DAP should be given one or 2 terms to prove its worth.
So some of the leaders are using the answer to the third question to justify their argument that Gerakan should not go out of BN.
I would like to, as a loyalist ( as called by Jeff Ooi once in his article) grassroot member, however, ask 2 more questions:
Q4. supposing Gerakan is still in BN, and there is a straight fight between Gerakan and DAP, which party will you choose?
The answer is obvious, 70% of the votes will probably go to DAP now based on the feedback of the people. Gerakan would only get one MP seat in Simpang Renggam because the other seat, Gerik, will have to be returned to UMNO in the next general election.
Q 5. Would Gerakan be better able to contribute to the establishment of a more fair and equal society, which is our our ideals, inside or outside of BN?
The answer to question 5 would depend on whether UMNO reforms or not. I have already mentioned in my earlier article , Gack to the grassroots, that if ZAid Ibrahim cannot change UMNO, outside party cannot expect to change it, especailly viewing UMNO in the context of the Ahmad Ismail episode. So if UMNO cannot be changed, the answer to Q 5 would be, Gerakan would contribute to change more effectively by staying outside of BN.
Q6. Would history consider Gerakan more kindly if it goes out now or if it continues to support a regime full of corruption, abuses, leakages?
The answer is again obvious, historians would have a better view of a party that move decisively away from a regime that has compromised most of the Malaysian Institutions, including judiciary.
Another oft mentioned reason is Gerakan would be split if it moves out of BN. One way to minimise the split is to call for a referendum to let grasssroots decide whether the party should remain in or go out of BN. The members will of course have to abide by the majority position. If 70 % of members want to leave, the other 30% will have to close rank and support the decision. In this way, the chances of a split will be smaller. (read my post : Back to the grassroots, Gerakan)
If it remains inside, there are already signs of many members leaving the party, which is an indirect form of splitting, and which will result in the party having generals and few foot soldiers as I have mentioned in my earlier articles. The longer the leaders drag their foot, the weaker will be the party.
I will use once again Dr Lim CHong Eu’s example to motivate members not to be too disheartened. DR Lim won Penang with little recources, with only few cadres, but most of them loyal and faithful to the party ideology.. (read my post: Time for Gerakan to regain credibility).
The grassroots will have to see further than our leaders. The leaders are thinking only of the next GE. We have to see beyond one or 2 GEs. We can do it small and bid our time, and we can also, in the meantime, combine with like-minded forces in East or West Malaysia to slowly rebuild the party. I am confident that , given a time span of 10 to 15 years, Gerakan can slowly rebrand itself into a credible party between 2 the bigger coalitions.
It is no longer a question about whether members are emotional or not. It is rather a question of leaders having the will and determination to do it alone outside of BN.