Gerakan should have backed Bersih, says party reforms group
KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 — Gerakkanlah Gerakan or “gG”, a vocal reforms movement within Gerakan, has lashed out at party leaders for maintaining a “shameless silence” over the Bersih 2.0 rally debacle, saying they had missed the plot by not backing the coalition.
“Gerakan has always claimed to be the ‘conscience of the Barisan Nasional (BN)’. In the face of its performance in this Bersih 2.0 rally, such claim sounds very hollow and superficial... the fact is, Gerakan no longer has any conscience.
“The national Gerakan leaders’ response was shameless silence, and borders on cowardice,” gG’s spokesperson Yeap Ban Choon wrote in a hard-hitting statement.
Yeap, who himself had attended Saturday’s rally, said Gerakan should have actively supported Bersih 2.0’s demand for electoral reforms as the event had turned out to be “a people’s movement”.
“Gerakan’s full name is ‘Malaysian People’s Movement Party’ or in Bahasa Malaysia ‘Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia’.
“Bersih 2.0 is a coalition of 62 established NGOs and it wants a clean and fair election. Why are Gerakan leaders not engaging this social coalition as part of a strategy to go back to basic i.e. the people’s movement?,” he said.
He told his party leadership that the mindsets of Malaysians have changed and many have abandoned their past fears to clamour for justice and the freedom to assemble peacefully.
“However the government is fearful of such spirit and wants to ‘nip it in the bud’; hence the unprecedented repression and suppression of the Bersih 2.0 rally,” he said.
Yeap urged the Gerakan leadership to change its strategy by abandoning its subservience to Umno and instead, consider whether it should remain in the ruling BN pact.
The gG movement has been openly critical of its party leadership and was instrumental in the recent Penang Gerakan revolt, which saw an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) held to remove its chief Datuk Teng Hock Nan.