We are Malaysians, Gerakan tells Perkasa

Gerakan acting president Chang Ko Youn also tells Barisan Nasional (BN) to fight extremism and stop punishing the 51% voters who voted against the ruling coalition at the last general election.

Leven Woon, FMT

Lashing out at Perkasa for its extremism, outgoing Gerakan acting president Chang Ko Youn today called on the BN not to take ‘revenge’ on the 51% voters who voted against the ruling government at the May general election.

In his keynote address at the 42nd Gerakan national delegates conference today, Chang also trained his guns at the Malay rights group Perkasa, led by firebrand Ibrahim Ali.

He said Ibrahim has undermined the spirit of ‘Merdeka’ and interracial relationship through his statements.

“It is most unfortunate that extremists like Perkasa gleefully challenge the non-Bumiputeras to either return to their ancestral lands or migrate to a third country.

“Let me make it clear, in front of all of you today, that we are all Malaysians and no Malaysian will ever have to leave this country simply because he does not agree with any policy or approach.

“We are all Malaysians, citizens of this nation, and no one can take that away from us,” he told some 2,000 Gerakan members at the conference. Prime Minister and Umno president Najib Tun Razak was the guest of honour of the delegates conference.

Chang also urged BN to fight extremism internally, as how it does internationally, and to ensure equal protection and application of the law on those who threaten the country’s peace and stability.

At the media conference later, Chang equalled Perkasa to the right-wing Tea Party in the US and said Gerakan was pushing for BN to condemn the NGO.

Asked about Najib’s lack of action against Perkasa for its offensive remarks, Chang said he was not sure if Najib had indeed criticised Perkasa before, but he “definitely does not endorse the statements”.

Don’t punish the 51%

On a separate matter, the former Perak executive councillor also urged BN not to punish the 51% of voters who deserted BN in the 13th General Election.

“BN and its component parties must not thrive in the fault lines of politics rather show humility in victory and accept that a new way is needed within BN as well.

“A new thinking must support that new way and the new thinking must encapsulate the hopes and aspirations of all Malaysians for clean, fair, just and inclusive government,” he said.

He said the failure by the BN to change will lead to its self-destruction, because its shortcomings will endear its supporters to cross to the opposition.

He said an in-depth analysis of BN’s victory in the 13th General Elections (GE13) shows that BN only won the federal administration with a margin of 44 seats with a combined majority of 25, 968 votes.

BN captured 133 while Pakatan Rakyat bagged 89 seats in the GE battle.

“Hence, we should not take our victory in GE13 for granted because it was a lot closer than many of us realise because 12,985 Malaysians voting the other way could have changed the results,” he said.