Has Gerakan gained traction as a coalition member of Perikatan Nasional?

THAT Tan Sri Hadi Awang dominated the entire media conference post the close PAS-Gerakan dialogue last night (Jan 9) has prompted an observant netizen Lissa Ann Qalish to enquire on the PAS president’s Facebook why there was no question posed to Gerakan president Senator Datuk Dominic Lau Hoe Chai (main pic left) “so that the party’s views on current issues can be heard”.

A sensible answer to the question posed by Lissa Ann Qalish can be found on the Gerakan Facebook whereby netizen Ahbeng Yee summed up his view of the only non-Muslim party within the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition as follows:

It is a multi-racial party but lost its way by joining PN. PAS, the religion extreme and Bersatu the race and religion champion should not be on Gerakan’s card. PN is just using Gerakan for window dressing.

(Gerakan) will lose all seats in coming state elections. Just because its president was offered a senatorship by (PN president Tan Sri) Muhyiddin (Yassin), he jumped for the carrot.

To truly gauge the influence is Gerakan within PN, one just need to look far given that Lau who is also Penang PN’s chairman was surprisingly left out of the coalition’s line-up of candidates for the recently concluded 15th General Election (GE15) although he was initially eyeing a parliamentary seat in Penang.

For the record, Lau had stood for election in the Batu parliamentary seat in Selangor in 2013 and 2018 when Gerakan was a component party of Barisan Nasional (BN) but lost on both occasions.

How relevant is Gerakan within PN is as good as anybody’s guess as Hadi who is also PN’s deputy chairman is confident that the wave of people’s support for PN shall last given what the coalition deemed as “prolonged uncertainties” within the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led unity government.

“You want to say unity, it’s not (a unity government”. If there is unity, there must be a government without opposition or the opposition is too small or has no role, then that’s a new unity government,” chided the Marang MP during the PAS-Gerakan media conference.

“But if you’re half and the opposition is half, that’s not unity. The term is not correct. Then there are still many unresolved problems or statements that have not been implemented (by the PH government).”

According to the Marang MP, the recent GE15 wave saw strong support from voters until PN made a clean sweep of PAS-ruled states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah.

To him, this shows that PN has the strength with even the ‘post-mortem’ results pointing to the state assembly votes being won in their entirety.

Asked about the distribution of seats between the PN component parties for the forthcoming state elections in the six states of Selangor, Penang, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, Hadi said that 80% of the task has been completed.

With PAS having won 49 seats with Bersatu trailing behind with 24 seats during GE15 while Gerakan did not contribute any seat to PN, the writing on the wall for the so-called non-Muslim component party in PN is almost certain; to cite netizen Ahbeng Yee again, “PN is just using Gerakan for window dressing”. – Jan 10, 2023

Main pic credit: Harakah Daily

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