Barisan Nasional, a fast sinking ship
I refer to the Malaysiakini report Toh quits Gerakan.
With the ‘conscience of Barisan Nasional’ Dr Toh Kin Woon resigning from Gerakan, many Gerakan members with conscience are expected to follow his footsteps before Sept 16 - the deadline set for the change of the present federal government with the crossovers of at least 30 MPs from the government bench.
This reminds me of the incident when - as the former MCA state assembly person for Datuk Keramat - I abstained from voting in the Penang state assembly over DAP’s motion on the Penang Outer Ring Road Project and being described by certain media as the ‘conscience of BN’. BN leaders criticised it by saying ‘as if BN has no conscience’!
Anyhow, Gerakan grassroots are now frustrated and furious over the party’s impotence to change the present government policies and to restrain Umno’s excessiveness in making racial remarks and advances.
Umno’s narrow appeals to the Malay community have been intensified after the general elections in the cloak of preserving Malay hegemony or Ketuanan Melayu .
But, with vested interests so entrenched in the present system, the top Gerakan leadership has to buy time and attempt to calm down their members by using the excuse that ‘it is not time yet’ to leave the BN.
This sounds as if they would also agree for the party to leave BN eventually but not now. Well, these people are buying insurance in the event that BN, the sinking ship after the March political tsunami , sinks deeper after the Permatang Pauh by-election.
BN appears to be incapable of taking disciplinary action against its own component party now. Sabah’s Sapp openly reiterates its intention until this very day to move a vote of no-confidence in parliament upon the prime minister. But even after an official reply was made by Sapp to BN, no action was dared to be made by the latter.
Lately, Tan Lean Hoe, the Gerakan Wanita Chief and more importantly, a BN deputy minister of information openly expressed the Gerakan grassroots’ feelings to leave BN and yet again the BN accepted her explanation.
BN component parties are fully aware that BN is not formulating government policies and, in fact, is not making decisions through genuine consultation. It is all Umno’s hegemony which rendered people like Ong Ka Ting redundant, though he may choose to offer another version of his political docility and reluctance.
Some unrepentant BN leaders accused those who choose to defect to Pakatan Rakyat as immoral, as if only they possess morality of the highest order. But the rakyat would like to question these people: is it not immoral to serve a regime that is repressive, undemocratic, unfair and unjus?. If taking sides in the interests of the people is ‘immoral’, then we must let it be.
So much is the moral bankruptcy of the BN - a fast-sinking ship. If the passengers of this ship are not wise to make a decision by jumping or saving themselves in one way or another, then they could choose to remain on board and be prepared for the eventuality.