KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 – Gerakan secretary-general Liang Teck Meng said that the party considered racist statements very seriously, alluding to the suspension of party member Tan Lai Soon, and hoped that other Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties would do the same.
Tan had labelled ethnic Malays as immigrants during the party’s general assembly last week, saying that the only true Bumiputras are the Orang Asli (indigenous people) and the natives in Sabah and Sarawak. “Gerakan does not want to see leaders from other parties giving racial or extreme statements in their assemblies,” said Liang. With MCA, MIC and Gerakan having concluded their respective general assemblies this year, the next one would be Umno’s next month.
Liang had also pointed out that BN president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also the Umno president, had said that extremism could not be tolerated during Gerakan’s general assembly. “Whoever gives racist remarks in the future, regardless of which BN component party, we will urge their leaders to take immediate action. “In order to do that , we have to discipline ourselves and we are a principled party so I urge all members to be principled members.
Don’t forget what happened in 2008,” said Liang. He was referring to an incident where Umno Bukit Bendera division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail was suspended for 3 years after labelling ethnic Chinese as immigrants. “We have to recall back to 2008 when Ahmad came out with a statement that the Chinese are immigrants, and at that time, Gerakan Youth Pulau Pinang wanted to leave BN because of that statement.
“We have to remember that eventually Ahmad was suspended for 3 years by Umno so I want to stress again that none of the races should be labelled as immigrants. “This is the stand of the party. So when Tan spoke at the assembly and said we are all immigrants, that is against the stand of the party,” said Liang. He also said they were following standard operating procedure in suspending Tan as stated by the party’s constitution.
“There are some party members who are unhappy with the suspension. This is according to sections 17.1, 17.2, and 17.3 whereby when our central working committee is conducting an investigation, that person’s membership must he suspended temporarily,” said Liang. He said the party had issued Tan with a show-cause letter, which he could respond to, and that the suspension would last for 6 months and could be extended for another 6 months if no decision was reached.
Credit : Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Berhad (TV3)