The National delegates Conference of Parti Gerakan early this month passed a resolution calling for the repeal of the ISA.
On hindsight, since it was passed by the grassroots, the party should have taken the initiative to push for a petition in Parliament to abolish the iSA.
Instead, the opposition has taken the lead and initiated a petition to the PM. And it was unfortunate that the Gerakan MPs did not sign the petition, even though we knew that the whole party, from the top leadership to the grassroots, really wanted it to be repealed.
The president of Gerakan has in fact written to PM to ask for a repeal of the ISA following the passing of the resolution. This actually means that Gerakan has actually signed a separate petition to the same effect for the same thing. It was really unfortunate that the Gerakan MPs did not sign on the petition initiated by the opposition.
This issue was brought out during our ‘debate’ last week (between three bloggers and some of the top leaders) , and the resolve to have the ISA repealed is not in question. So I think Gerakan might have done wrong in not directing its 2 MPs to sign the petition initiated by the opposition, even though its president has already signed one earlier on, and submitted to the PM even before the opposition one. This has unfortunately created a perception that Gerakan is not being consistent.
I have asked our top leaders to bring this issue directly into BN for discussion. If most members of BN want the ISA to be repealed, then the government must take steps to have it repealed. This is working on the principle of the party (BN) directing the government.
All the component parties talk about reform after MArch 8, and one of the most important reform is to let BN dictates how the government is to be run and not just by UMNO alone. In all coalition governments all over the world, the coalition party decides the direction of the government policies, and not just the biggest party alone.
So, it is a good test whether BN can work along this principle by having Gerakan pushing this in BN.