“Withdraw from state polls, protest PAS extremism right now,” Chow tells Gerakan

By Jason Yeo

CARETAKER Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow said Gerakan should withdraw from the Aug 12 state election if the party has any self-respect left in them.

“Gerakan should withdraw to protest against PAS’ extremism,” Oriental Daily reported Chow as saying at a Pakatan Harapan (PH) event yesterday (Aug 2).

Chow was referring to the incident which took place on Tuesday (Aug 1), when Gerakan president Dominic Lau was reportedly refused entry to a Perikatan Nasional (PN) ceramah and was subsequently told to leave by Penang PAS representatives in Sungai Dua, Penang.

When some protested, a PAS leader could be heard telling Lau “Tak boleh (No, you can’t). You go away.”

Lau, who has subsequently downplayed the snub, said he did not feel upset and that he had gone to the ceramah to meet Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang, but as the event ran late, he left without meeting him.

The event triggered a backlash online and called PN’s multiculturalism overtures into question.

In response to this matter, Gerakan deputy president Oh Tong Keong announced that all its assemblymen will step down if Penang PN wins the state polls and starts practising extremism.

However, Chow said Gerakan should not wait.

“They should protest, protest right now,” he said, adding that PAS will continue to play up the 3R (race, religion and royalty) issue to appeal to Malay voters.

“Poor Gerakan, it thinks it can balance out PAS in PN. In reality, it’s useless to try.”

In related news, Oh also called on PAS to clarify why Lau was denied entry to an event held by the Islamic party on Tuesday (Aug 1).

According to Oh, PAS has disrespected Lau, who is also PN deputy chairman and the Penang PN chief.

“Even if Lau wasn’t invited, he is one of PN’s top leaders. The event’s organiser should have treated him as a guest. That was disrespectful,” China Press quoted him as saying.

Oh claimed that Lau was at the event to meet Hadi and did not plan on going on stage to speak.

At the same time, Oh accused the PAS man, who told the Gerakan president to leave, of dealing with Lau’s presence “with his personal emotions mixed in”.

Previously, Oh acknowledged that the issue had caused dissatisfaction among Gerakan’s grassroots though he maintained that the party had an amicable relationship with PAS. – Aug 3, 2023

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