Gerakan to leave ousted Barisan Nasional coalition

PETALING JAYA • Gerakan has become the latest party to exit the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which was ousted from power after a stunning loss in Malaysia's general election last month.

Gerakan's central committee in a statement released yesterday said the Chinese-dominated party had unanimously decided to leave BN following its loss to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition at the polls.

The committee said it is "absolutely necessary" for the party to "embark on a new political journey with freedom, empowerment and an assertion in pursuing what the party believes is the best for Malaysia".

"The decision was made after serious and comprehensive deliberation, reflection and consideration of the current political developments of the country post-GE14," said the central committee, using the acronym for the 14th general election.

"We 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, we are most committed to preserving the Malaysian way of life as we know and we want collectively as Malaysians," the central committee said.

BN had ruled Malaysia for 61 years until its defeat last month. It managed to win only 78 parliamentary seats, compared to the simple majority of 133 seats it clinched in 2013.

Since then, the pact has seen its seats whittled down to 57, after the recent departure of its allies in Sabah and Sarawak.

Gerakan did not win any seats in the May election, but its decision leaves BN, which had 13 members previously, with just three of its original alliance members - Umno, the Malaysian Chinese Association and the Malaysian Indian Congress.

The status of the small MyPPP party within BN is in doubt, as its leaders disagree on whether to exit the pact.

Acting BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said yesterday that the pact needs to understand why Gerakan made the decision to leave.

"We have yet to get an official letter from Gerakan. We would like to study the details," he said.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 24, 2018, with the headline 'Gerakan to leave ousted Barisan Nasional coalition'. Print Edition | Subscribe