KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Gerakan chief Gordon Leong believes his party’s decision to leave the Barisan Nasional is a move in the right direction as Gerakan goes through a rebuilding process to regain the trust of the people.
Speaking to FMT, he said the decision to cut ties with the former federal ruling coalition was not done without serious discussion, adding it was decided for the best interest of the people.
Leong said party members will abide with all decisions made by the committee. “Gerakan members in Sabah are intact. The main reason we (Gerakan) decided to leave the BN was to consolidate our own party, as the central committee had mentioned,” he said.
“I was there when the Central Committee met in Kuala Lumpur … all the state chairmen were there. Of course, we hope for a positive response from everybody but it (decision) was done with the Malaysian people in mind,” he said.
Asked if Gerakan faced a gloomy future, Leong said “we hope for the best in what we’re doing” and noted that Gerakan remained a multiracial party. “We have never played the racial card since day one … we are an egalitarian party,” he said.
Universiti Malaya political scientist Awang Azman Awang Pawi said Gerakan’s decision to withdraw from BN would have no impact on the coalition.
The Gerakan decision was irrelevant as the party failed to win any state or parliamentary seat at last month’s general election which left BN in a state of disarray following its shock loss of federal power.
In Sabah, Gerakan was defeated in the two state seats it was allocated.
Raymond Tan, a former deputy chief minister and a heavyweight in Sabah BN, lost Tanjong Papat by 1,800 votes to DAP’s Frankie Poon Ming Fung.
In Elopura, the party sustained a heavy defeat when DAP’s Calvin Chong Ket Kiun posted a 6,647-vote majority over state Gerakan deputy youth chief Chan Tzun Hei, who was making his political debut.