In The Sun, Gerakan acting president Dr Koh Tsu Koon yesterday blamed the “arrogance of power” of certain Umno leaders for the party’s defeat in the general election.
Another delegate, former Gerakan Women's Chairperson Kee Phaik Cheen who spoke at the closed door session put it succintly, "Stop pointing fingers at others."
Speaking from my own experience, Gerakan leaders should shoulder the blame for being both timid and subservient to UMNO's hegemony. It is not a secret that the leaders believed they stand to gain more by being on UMNO's good book than acting otherwise like speaking up against the gross political indecency of certain UMNO leaders.
In fact, my relationship with Gerakan's main leaders went sour because of my constant criticism of UMNO. Hence, having to listen to one after another speeches of putting the blame squarely on UMNO is both hilarious and disappointing to me.
On a number of occasions, Dr Koh had warned me against speaking up and posting my views on Malaysiakini.com. He did the same to Paranjothy, a youth leader, who vented his frustrations against UMNO after the Hindraf demonstration. He even suggested to a director at another policy institute to take me in so that I can leave Sedar Institute.
I am not washing his dirty linen here but from his statement yesterday, it proved that Dr Koh still missed the most crucial point in reforming his party. He should have shown more leadership in owning up to his lack of courage and political direction as the main cause of defeat than putting the blame solely on UMNO.
Penang's BN suffered the worst defeat among the four states captured by the opposition, garnering less than 38% of popular votes. Surely, Dr Koh must be responsible for the outcome. From the chief ministership issue to poor political campaign strategy, he was the main driver.
Yet, at yesterday's dialogue, the acting president of Gerakan distributed copies of a news report on PKR President Wan Azizah who praised him as an examplary leader who conceded defeat gentlemanly. In a democratic process, this is expected of all defeated politicians.
Koh said Gerakan would like to play a role of reformer in the BN but has to reform itself first.
Can it become a reformer and can it be reformed? Your guess is as good as mine.