Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Stalling of Gerakan

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.


Anonymous said...

Why does Gerakan need a by-election victory to bring about reform?
Reform takes place in defeat not in victory.
To start with, Gerakan must divorce itself from UMNO to every have a hope of reform.
Abuse of institutions like EC, Polce, Macc, Courts and civil service will never help BN to reform.

timmy said...

Public Perception is everything.

Suffering from very bad public perceptions is certainly a halt to whatever reform BN trying to do.

For instance, today we'll some big names being hauled up for money politics in UMNO, although (I truly doubt) they finally become sincere in reforming and because UMNO is suffering from very bad public perception, the public will only see:

1. This is a gimmick before the meeting.
2. Public will question the timing of these events.
3. Public will see Najib having a hand on the candidates he wants.
4. Pre-judgement that nothing going to happen, a mere suspension is at most.
5. Why didn't this act reported to MACC?

You see, when you suffer from bad public perception, no matter what you try to do will be viewed with doubt and cloud with agendas. There's no way BN can reform until they restore confidence in their leadership.

If now, Najib suddenly being replaced by Tengku Razaleigh, public perception will suddenly change, and today's action of punishing people in money politics will have more effect and the events will then be more believable in the public eye.

Understanding the root cause of not being able to reform which is your leadership suffering from VERY bad public perception, is the first step to reforming. Remove him, and replace with some credible in the public eye (like TRH) will automatically enable BN to reform again.

Don't believe? Go down and ask the public.

wandererAUS said...

Leadership comes along with responsibility. In time of Global Financial difficulties which is beginning to hit Malaysia hard, UMNO-BN is fully engaged themselves in gutter politics. Dividing the nation, instead of uniting all malaysians, to face this difficult period should be utmost in the ruling administration agenda.
Dr Toh, did you see any trace of change in UMNO?
You must be living in another planet.

Anonymous said...

Get real laa kukoo, the malays voted gerakan and chinanese vote dap, all the time.

tan, tanjong bungah said...

Hi everyone,

It's pathetic for KTK to appeal to the people to give BN a chance in the upcoming by-elections! The call that comes from a political eunuch would only be counter-productive and put-off even more voters!

The people would only give BN a chance if there's real and sincere attempt by BN (read UMNO) to change and heed the voice of the people thru' 308 GE. As long as the voters view that BN and UMNO is not prepared to change significantly, then they'll be punished in the by-elections and the next GE.

Change first, then ask for a chance!

marcus63 said...

hello. hello. this guy has a doctorate degree. naivete nor stupid he is not. he has just run out of ideas to con the voters to give bn their support. so as a last resort, play the underdog card and beg for sympathy votes.
for sure, gerakan can play this role very well as they have been beggars to umno all their lifes, to quote their former leader, another doctor by profession.

Anonymous said...

one reader puts KTK right...nothing but an UMNO/BN enuch !
enuch they only enjoy by seeing the emperor enjoy not the rakyat!does he looks like one???

khian beng said...

Probably he still dream to return as CM of Penang or Minister of something under BN (UMNO) umbrella.

well said tan (tanjung bunga). Change first before ask for a chance.

KKP is correct. Gerakan would not return into the heart of Penangites by making all those stupid noise.

Anonymous said...

For many years, Gerakan virtually had no opposition in the state assembly. They could do whatever they liked but somehow they could not "change". Why should we expect them to be able to "change" now.
Is KTK admitting that Gerakan had not been doing its job for decades and now begging for a second chance?
Shall we entrust Gerakan again? Shall we let Gerakan to try again when it has had decades to deliver? I personally shall not. Towards the end of Gerakan in Penang, some of their ADUN & EXCO were so arrogant and out of touch that they were such sad
sightings. I once broguht some issue to a Gerakan EXCO, this EXCO's respond was full of condescending remarks "you people.. you people... you people...!" Yes, "WE PEOPLE" in Penang decided to vote out Gerakan last year.

ernest said...

KTK'S doctorate or whatever degree he has must be revisited.
everybody in penang with or without degree knows that Gerakan is going down except it's president. Goodbye to gerakan and the bunch in it.

XXX said...

Dear Mr Khoo,

Please could you write a nice open letter to Mr Koh Tsu Koon and tell him nicely why he should tell Gerakan to renovate its internal organs.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Gerakan has become a lost soul in hell. Unwanted by the people. Barely tolerated by it partners in tyranny.

It has try project an image that it is still relevant by making statements. In fact, it is reduced to making statement.

Unfortunately, its political statements are just blubbering inanities.

Anonymous said...

Like I mention before, if LGE government has the ability of maintaining the present performance with fewer wastages and corruptions (no total controlled because not all civil servants are under LGE), it would be sufficient enough for LGE to be in power in Penang for a long long time.
BN has simply lost credibility. Perhaps, it would be better to give a thorough CLEAN SWEEP in the state assembly. DAP too has learn a lesson on this. Perhaps, the reason why LKS left Penang.
It's impossible for Gerakan to come back. Even if they claim that they can perform far exceedingly better than DAP led Pakatn govenrment, the bug bear is with UMNO.
Khoo's exhortation on LGE government to better perform is irrelevant. Khoo's right about Penangites. They are the smarter animals. Smarter animals consider all angles, covering all corners. With the emergence of strong DAP instead of a motley crew of MIC, MCA & Gerakan, they will stick to DAP.
I would not be surprised, there would be a trouncing defeat if Gerakan were to stand again 5, 10 or 20 years from the now. It's the same thinking that kept Tsu Koon for 19 years.
Can Gerakan cover 25 seats by itself? Can Gerakan penetrate into UMNO's teritory in Penang? This is the problem of having a unity government. Gerakan has fallen to a state that they are begging for seats.
Political strength is far exceedingly important when it comes to Penang. Government performance is secondary, coupled with the fact LGE's hand are tied. LKY & his teams ran into problems dealing with Tunku. LKY's brain is smarter. He also kenna ejected. You think LGE can
Hence, I would focus on seeing a total destruction of BN. Get federal power first, then talk about individual state's performance


By the way, People centric policies ain't new. Tunku or most probably Razak create havoc in Singapore with Utusan Melayu & those so called melayu NGOs.

DAP was PAP Malaysia built upon the principle of Malaysian Malaysia. Exactly the same Ketuan rakyat. What Anwar has said now is the same of what LKY said during the 60s. The Malaysia solidarity thingy. Stephen Kalong Ningkan is one of them.

Read LKY's memoir, folks!