Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan), which failed to win even a single seat of the 45 seats it contested in the 14th General Election (GE14), has decided to leave the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition
Gerakan's decision to leave BN after 45 years of being in the coalition was decided in the party Central Committee (CC) meeting today, 23 June.
"The CC in its meeting today has made a unanimous decision to leave BN.
"The decision was made after serious and comprehensive deliberation, reflection and consideration on current political developments of the country post-14th General Election (GE14)," read the statement by the party that was issued to the press.
"Sentiment and feedback of grassroots were also taken into consideration in this decision, while elections at branch level are undergoing nationwide. It is in line with our aim to consolidate our party and members.
"We believe it is absolutely necessary for Gerakan to embark on a new political journey with freedom, empowerment and assertion in pursuing what we believe is best for Malaysia and Malaysians – an egalitarian and united Malaysia," the statement read.
Gerakan's vice-president Dominic Lau said that the main reason behind leaving BN is because this is the grassroots' voice, opinion and also the grassroots' requirement, according to Malaysiakini
"So that's why during the party central committee meeting, we discussed and we decided to listen to the (wishes of the) grassroots. This is why we decided to leave BN," Malaysiakini quoted Lau as saying at the Gerakan headquarters in Cheras.
"This was a hard decision to make, this was the second central committee meeting, in the first meeting we had two opinions, some felt that we should leave, some felt that we should stay. In this meeting, we all decided to leave BN," he added.
The Central Committee statement, while emphasising that Gerakan leaves "BN on good terms", added that the party "must chart a new direction to sustain ourselves and continue our struggle"
"We have decided that Gerakan must chart a new direction to sustain ourselves and continue our struggle. We leave BN on good terms," read the statement.
"Gerakan will play its role as an independent party in the Opposition bloc to offer check-and-balance to the Pakatan Harapan government and will be a constructive opposition," it said, adding that the party will "cooperate with like-minded parties, individuals and groups in the national interest to uphold and defend the Federal Constitution, rule of law and democracy of Malaysia".
Gerakan, once a party of prominence as a pioneer of liberalism, multiracialism and pragmatism in Malaysian politics in the early days of nationhood, has seen its influence being eroded over the years. It no longer has any elected representatives in Parliament.
As such, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia's departure will have zero impact on Barisan Nasional's parliamentary seating count, which remains at 57.
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