We invited Dr M as he is number one man, but we’ll remain independent, says Gerakan leader

Gerakan president Dominic Lau speaking to the media at the party’s Chinese New Year open house today.

KUALA LUMPUR: Gerakan president Dominic Lau today said he is looking forward to working with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad despite being an independent party.

Mahathir’s attendance at Gerakan’s Chinese New Year open house earlier today raised questions about whether the party was interested in joining the Pakatan Harapan coalition, but Lau said he didn’t want the invitation to be misinterpreted.

Saying that it was normal to invite the prime minister to such celebrations as he was the country’s “number one man”, Lau said Gerakan wanted to contribute to nation building as an independent party.

A founding member of Barisan Nasional, Gerakan left the former ruling coalition a month after the BN lost federal power in the 2018 general election.

“At the moment, after we pulled out of Barisan Nasional, we still position ourselves as the third force in the country’s political arena. The most important thing is the ideology of the party, which is very simple and clear.

“We want stable politics in our country and we fight for fairness – irrespective of race, religion or culture. We are a non-ethnic party and we fight for all Malaysians. That is one of our basic principles, as is a moderate approach to ruling the country and the fight for justice and equality.

“I shared this with Tun (Mahathir) and I think he agreed that we have to work closely with each other for the unity, prosperity and the future betterment of the country,” he said, adding that all political parties strove to build a better future for the nation.

Also present at the celebration were Mahathir’s wife Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali and Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali.