Gerakan branch leader claims more than 1,000 quit party to protest decision to stand in Tg Piai polls

(The Star) – More than 1,000 Gerakan members from three branches in the party’s Tanjung Piai division – Rimba Terjun, Jalan Parit Masjid and Jalan Johor – will quit the party in protest of its decision to stand in the Tanjung Piai polls.

Tanjung Piai Gerakan deputy chief Tey Chin Teng, who is also Rimba Terjun branch chief, made this claim at a press conference held in Pontian Kechil on Monday (Nov 4).

He was accompanied by Gerakan’s Jalan Parit Masjid branch chief Tey Chin Hock and Jalan Johor branch chief Goh Bee Hong.

According to Tey, the decision was made recently after he received negative feedback from the public over Gerakan’s decision to field Wendy Subramaniam in the Nov 16 polls.

“In the recent days, many people have scolded me, asking me why Gerakan wants to enter the by-election because Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng is a good man.

“Gerakan’s decision to field Wendy could cost 2,000 to 3,000 Chinese votes that would have been meant for Wee, ” said Tey, who’s been a Gerakan member for more than 37 years.

Without mincing his words, Tey, who was visibly distraught, also took the opportunity to chastise Gerakan president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau Hoe Chai during the press conference.

“He (Lau) should just go back to Penang and take care of Gerakan there, ” he said.

Tey said the purported 1,000 members will send their letters of resignation to the party sometime next week.

Tey also took the opportunity to denounce his support for Gerakan and pledged support for Wee in the Tanjung Piai by-election.

“I’m going to be honest here – I am no longer supporting Gerakan. I’m supporting Wee, ” he said.

Tanjung Piai Gerakan chief Datuk Teo Kok Chee, when contacted, denied that 1,000 party members were quitting in protest.

“Only three people have quit the party. Tell him (Tey) to reveal the name list, ” he said, without elaborating further.

The Tanjung Piai polls on Nov 16 will be a six-cornered fight between Pakatan Harapan’s Karmaine Sardini, Barisan’s Wee, Gerakan’s Wendy, Pan Malaysian Islamic Front (Berjasa)’s Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz, and two independent candidates – Faridah Aryani Abdul Ghaffar and Ang Chuan Lock.

The Tanjung Piai constituency is made up of about 57% Malay voters, 42% Chinese voters and 1% Indian voters.