Should Gerakan pull out from BN?


Last night, Mustafa and I spoke at a Gerakan ‘teh tarik’ session on the outcome of the Permatang Pauh by-election and its implications.

I was surprised to see the level of interest among those who attended, including non-Gerakan members as well. Many were keen to know whether Anwar would get his 30 MPs by 16 September.

I told them I had no idea. I stressed to them the importance of institutional checks and balances. We cannot rely on a strong personality alone to bring about change. We need deeper institutional reforms – to the judiciary, police, ACA, Parliament, Election Commission and Suhakam.  We also need a change in the mindset among politicians so that they really serve the rakyat and not themselves.

Towards the end of my presentation, I threw up several scenarios for Gerakan to consider.

  • Remain in BN
    • but it’s sinking, mired as it is in racial politics
    • can it abandon racial politics and turn into a multi-racial coalition?
    • just as important, can it get rid of money politics, cronyism, corruption?
  • Pull out and join Pakatan Rakyat
    • but do they have place for you, beyond adding another feather to the PR cap?
    • merge with one of the existing PR parties
  • Pull out and become an opposition party
    • return to the party’s roots with a clear ideology
    • become a genuine multi-ethnic party
    • turn into national-level opposition party or an opposition party in Penang
    • but for that to happen, it needs a leadership revamp
    • and equally important, do Gerakan members have what it takes to survive in the opposition?
    • and does the party think it has too much to lose in terms of being part of govt in certain states?
  • The final option, which I didn’t mention last night, is just disband and allow its members to decide which parties they want to join.

That said, I do think that Penang in particular needs a multi-ethnic opposition party to serve as a check and balance. Whether Gerakan can play that role remains to be seen. But a leadership revamp is needed first.

Here’s a response from Plain Truth:

Every time it rains heavily, Georgetown floods.

Even if the petrol price at the pumps were to hit RM5.00, Penangites will still have to use their cars for want of a reliable public transport system.

18 years at the helm and KTK could not even fix such basic problems as flood mitigation and putting in place a reliable public transport network.

Instead we are hit with the disgusting land scams revelations which KTK neatly side-stepped (most of it) in his recent debate with LGE.

If the Gerakan membership do not even see fit to revamp their current leadership, it will be better for Gerakan to die a natural death – better for Penang, anyway.

After all, it is a party that has parted with the ideals of its founding fathers a long time back.

What do you think?

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Whatever decision Gerakan want to make is no different to me, as a Penangite, i had enough already of this … political party ruling in my state.


Yeap I totally agree that these Gerakan dummies should leave the BN and join PR. This should teach those UMNO bullies a lesson! Same goes to those MCA loonies and MIC… !

Ah Ling

Don’t make me laugh – Gerakan merge with SUPP? SUPP under George Chan is so deep in the pocket of Taib that you can’t even fumble for it. SUPP is another party that needs to be disbanded, by its supporters leaving to join either Keadilan or DAP. These two so-called leaders, George Chan and Toh, have lived for so long on a different planet they don’t even know what grassroots are!

Wong Chee Kong

I agree with PLAIN TRUTH. It’s so clear that KTK & Gerakan had failed in their duties as Plain Truth has pointed out. I was utterly disappointed and disgusted that that was the CM who had ruled for umpteen years when he debated against LGE. The defensive way he countered LGE’s pointers was like a school kid trying to justify his wrongs. Come on, the rakyat are not stupid. If that is the kind of leadership that Gerakan can produce, it is better that the party die a natural death. I take my hat off to Dr Toh for his… Read more »


Dear Anil;
What would you do if you are an eunuch to a Tuan UMNO fixated on sodomy?

Sonny Tneoh

Gerakan like so many of us chose the wide gate- the path of least resistance i.e. to play the role of the alternate chinese party in BN. In this way they get the most carrots from BN for playing their role of check mating MCA. MCA could not be too assertive due to Gerakan’s presence in BN. In other words they became a stooge of UMNO just like MCA. Old habits die hard. They have a national party with its organisation which will be useful for PKR if they so choose to leave. Or they could be non Pakatan opposition… Read more »


Why did the late Tan Chee Koon leave Gerakan after 1969 GE when Penang fell to the Gerakan? My guess is he didn’t want to be in the ruling Alliance govt. My take is that it is better for the Gerakan to leave BN as to sort itself out once again and the direction in which they originally intended it to be. Don’t join PR. Just be in the opposition to both BN and PR and be the check and balance that is so crutially needed in our country.


It is no longer feasible to consider BN as the alternative party. Not even a complete revamp of the party and ideology will suffice to keep them alive. The rot has set in too deep. It is also obvious that UMNO and its component parties are in self-destruct mode. So leave them be to die a natural death. Do we want Gerakan to cross-over? NO! We don’t really want anyone from the old regime. In any case, the present leadership cannot jump ship. Too many skeletons in the closet. It is NOT a case of them not realizing that the… Read more »


UMNO should immediately take action against a Datuk who alledgedly referred to the Chinese as squatters in the country. GERAKAN, MCA and MIC should join hand in pursuing this matter. The statement has equally affected the feelings of the Indians and other minorities in the country. After 50 years of independence, we still see racial politics rearing its ugly head. This is bad for the the future of the country. BN has sunk to its lowest bed after the Permatang Pauh by-election. We saw how the racial cards were played explicitly by some UMNO leaders to win the hearts of… Read more »


We are creatures of habit. Hence despite the overwhelming logic for leaving the BN, Gerakan is still unable to let go and make the critical decision to ensure that they stay relevant. UMNO the leader in BN has lost its direction and their component partners are at a lost as to what they should do. To stay on is a formula to sink with the ship. I should think in this case it would be wise for the crew to jump ship and let the honourable captain go down in glory with the ship. The consideration of whetther they should… Read more »

change it now

what did gerakan do for us? just name me one? they are useless and used rakyat for their own end for 30 years.

can they be useful for once and leave BN and lead the domino effect? If they do that at least people will take notice. if not they will just fades. At least PPP has kayveas.

Helmi Ismail

Gerakan started out well as an opposition party that managed to secure itself as an alternative to the then Alliance – enough to secure itself the right to rule Penang. Over the years, after the leadership decided to positively respond to The olive branch offered by the Late Tun Abdul Razak forming Barisan Nasional, it slowly lost its focus as it jostled to a “better MCA”. I agree Gerakan needs to revamp itself and the best way is out and away from BN. Then and only then it can consider whether it can contribute – perhaps – in Oakatan Rakyat.


Talking about land scandal in Penang. Land scandals in Penang seems to be rampant. I know of a piece of land that was supposed to be a recreation ground and the residents in the area could not understand why a condo got build up there. Since it was not a big piece of land, car park space is limited and the cars from the residents of the condo just spill over to the roadsides much to the annoyance of the residents of the houses nearby. I believe the previous state government has a hand in this but due to the… Read more »


All I can think of at the moment is that Gerakan is purely a ‘parasite’ party. They are just merely leeches. They will never foresake big …. UMNO. When someone mentioned it is a ‘mosquito’ party? Well, do you know how mosquite survive? Yes, they are ‘parasites’. Even though many may refer them as ‘beggar-party’, I doubt that is the right name. We should refer and call them ‘PARASITE-PARTY’! And, can anyone let us know what is the life-span of a mosquito? Yes, Gerakan will soon ‘pupus sendiri’ when their life-span is finished and it will not be long by… Read more »

Siew Eng

Gerakan should assume the role of an opposition as a credible check against PR. Acton’s adage and all.


Gerakan oh Gerakan! What happened to you? A party that offered so much to the color blind Malaysian wannabe with its founding ideology but no longer practices nor promote the ideology. Instead, today you are so fearful for your survival that you depend on UMNO to give you the lifeline or rather should I say leash. The party may claim its ‘intellectual’ membership but over time, it has been diluted by self-serving members until today those without conscience of service to the country and its people determine the future of the party. The leaders of Gerakan fails to understand that… Read more »

malaysian niah..

this country is in a serious need of ECONOMIC VISIONARIES – people like Lim Chong Eu and mayyyybeee Dr.M. we need leaders that can see 10 years ahead on what this world is going to be like and how Malaysia is going to play a prominent role in that world. social progress requires a strong economic backbone or not its just going to fall apart because it is not sustainable. right now in UMNO, MCA, MIC, PPP, Gerakan and all the other sabah sarawak component parties and also sadly to say PAS, DAP and PKR – there is no one… Read more »

Kenny Gan

If it stays on in BN, Gerakan will become another PPP, hanging on to BN’s coat tails in the hope of seats and positions long after it has lost relevance to Umno.


My thoughts – Gerakan was swept away because it compromised its ideals. Once that happens, it lost the will to listen to the people. I really don have the answers for Gerakan really.


Too late for the cancerous Gerakan party to stay and survive in Penang….Perhaps becoming an independent opposition party in BN held states???Since they are better compared to BN when without BN???Or maybe honest, sincere ones like DR.Toh leave Gerakan for Pakatan Rakyat while the rest in gerakan just … rot …l??? Someone i know by the name of Frankie should leave too, you are innocent, why dont u leave Gerakan for PKR or DAP??? I know u know me, Frankie…..if you want to survive, just sit beside Anwar in ceramah just like what Dr.Toh did….and may you be blessed with… Read more »


Gerakan,MCA and MIC should merge and then quit politic,form a big social club and indulge in social activities such as recycle campaign,beautifying our environment and educating school children on moral etc. These activities will lessen their sins for their previous incompetency and corruption.


Every time it rains heavily, Georgetown floods. Even if the petrol price at the pumps were to hit RM5.00, Penangites will still have to use their cars for want of a reliable public transport system. 18 years at the helm and KTK could not even fix such basic problems as flood mitigation and putting in place a reliable public transport network. Instead we are hit with the disgusting land scams revelations which KTK neatly side-stepped (most of it) in his recent debate with LGE. If the Gerakan membership do not even see fit to revamp their current leadership, it will… Read more »

malaysian niah..

someone should launch an online campain -TUTUP MCA, MIC & GERAKAN


I had a talk with an ex-penang city councilor who served under Gerakan for 2 years . He left both Gerakan and the city council because he was disgusted with the party. Any discrepancies he discovered in the city council was swept under the carpet because it would be embarrassing for the idiot leader and he was told not to talk about it. He also found that the idiot will flip-flop on decisions constantly and if you did not toe the party line you will find yourself slowly pushed into a corner. To be a Gerakan member and to be… Read more »

malaysian niah..

gerakan … r … i think better close down the party lar….only idiots left inside there now and… the more reason why PR should not accept gerakan