Gerakan President Koh Tsu Koon has pleaded with the voters to give BN a chance to reform and change.
“The people can assist and encourage the BN to change by giving BN support in the (upcoming) by-elections. This will give those of us in BN more support and strength to continue the process of reform from within."
Koh's statement has exposed a reality within BN and Gerakan. Both Koh and Gerakan have yet to understand the real meaning of change. If BN leaders, especially UMNO, are serious about change they do not need external support to do so. Change must come internally.
The coalition has ruled the country for more than 50 years. It still enjoy a huge parliamentary majority. In fact, leaders of the coalition are boasting about their power grab in Perak. What more support needed by the coalition? It has all the support and electoral advantage to do whatever necessary. Alas, the coalition has decided to reciprocate differently by using coercive forces, public institutions and archaic security legislation to pounce on their political opponents and civilians.
I am surprised that time and time again the Gerakan president has displayed his naivete and lack of political finesse. To push the BN to change, voters must be willing to punish the coalition for not respecting their constitutional rights. UMNO is still playing the same old political game of using both religion and race to pump up communal support. Now the party is toying with feudalism to defend the monarchy. No one is above the law, not even a monarch or a UMNO president.
Gerakan president and its leaders are barking up the wrong tree. It should ask UMNO to give the coalition a chance. If UMNO keeps its old habits, it will be detrimental to its partners like Gerakan.
Even Koh is not so confident of a change despite being given additional support in the by-elections. He was quick to say “However, it will take some time and effort to bring about real reform in a big coalition of diverse parties representing various communities and interests.”
If Koh is not even convinced himself, can he hope to convince the voters to give BN a blank cheque? Voters have done this for the past 12 general elections.
Why still no change? If Gerakan really clamour for a change, it should start with its own leadership. Its leaders in Penang are busy nosing around with Lim Guan Eng's safety and his press ban of NST. It should start to address its own priorities and stop making such stupid statements like this one.