Gerakan: No decision yet on Paranjothy

(The Sun): Gerakan has yet to decide on the fate of its Youth wing vice-chairman S. Paranjothy as the party's disciplinary committee is still waiting for an official directive from the central working committee (CWC).

Gerakan's disciplinary committee chairman Tan Sri Soong Siew Hoong said the CWC was supposed to meet on Saturday but had postponed it as acting party president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon was down with flu and could not attend the meeting.

"If there is any case [involving] disciplinary action to be taken, it has to be decided by the CWC. However, the committee has yet to meet and hence there is no decision yet to ask the disciplinary committee to take action.

"We cannot do anything at the moment until we receive a written directive from the CWC. If (there is) no meeting, (and) no directive, we would not talk about the case," he told reporters today after representing Koh to launch "The Walk on the Park @ Pudu Ulu", a food, beverage and entertainment lifestyle zone located between Menara PGRM I and II in Cheras.

Pressed to elaborate, Soong declined to say whether the party leaders had talked about Paranjothy's case.

He said it would jeopardise and complicate the disciplinary committee's investigation.

When contacted later, Gerakan secretary-general Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye said the CWC meeting was usually held in the third weekend of the month.

However, he said, the date of the next meeting had yet to be fixed as the meeting schedule for 2008 had yet to be finalised.

On Dec 21, Paranjothy released a four-page press statement titled "Discrimination from Womb to Tomb", blaming Umno for inciting racial sentiments among Malaysians for political mileage and criticising the government for “marginalising, oppressing and ignoring” the Indian community, which resulted in them being “fourth-class citizens”.

In response to this, Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein was quoted in news reports as saying that the youth wing might want to sever ties with Gerakan if it was unable to provide an explanation for Paranjothy's remarks.

Following the incident, Koh had said disciplinary action such as suspension or expulsion may be taken against Paranjothy.

However, he also said Hishammuddin should not have overreacted with his inappropriate statement, given that Paranjothy was only a young leader in Gerakan.