Friday, October 24, 2008

Gerakan Sunset

Please note before reading on that I have absolutely nothing personal against the sole Gerakan backbencher in the Parliament from Simpang Renggam, Liang Teck Meng. I've spoken to him briefly previously and he seems pretty much like a "nice guy". However, as the flag-carrier for the party seeking to so-called revive itself and its relevance in Malaysian politics, I was keenly awaiting to hear what he will say in his speech, on behalf of Gerakan, to debate the 2009 Budget.

Let me just say that I was totally disappointed, albeit not too surprised at its contents, which you can read here in the Hansard pages 125-129.

He spoke about floods in his constituency...
...masalah banjir di kawasan Simpang Renggam... Kami gembira mendengar berita bahawa sebuah syarikat jurutera perunding bernama DZA Consult Sdn. Bhd. telah dilantik...
praised his party president...
...UNESCO telah mengisytiharkan Melaka dan Georgetown sebagai tapak warisan dunia. Georgetown yang dikendalikan dengan begitu sempurna dan baik oleh Kerajaan Barisan Nasional bawah pimpinan Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon serta dasar-dasar yang munasabah untuk mengekalkan sejarah seni bina dan sebagainya. Kalau bukan jasa Kerajaan Barisan Nasional maka tidak akan wujudnya tapak warisan dunia pada hari ini.
criticised our local taxi service, and justified his Taiwan visit...
... selepas melancong ke Taiwan sebelum ini dan juga pemerhatian saya selepas melawat ke Singapura, ke Vietnam, Hong Kong dan Macau, saya dapati perkhidmatan teksi di negara kita amatlah teruk...
asked the Government to not forget to build roads in Simpang Renggam...
... saya rasa gembira bersama dengan anak Sabah dan anak Sarawak kerana kerajaan mempergiatkan usaha untuk melaksanakan projek infrastruktur untuk dua negeri ini. Saya harap kerajaan juga jangan lupa negeri Johor terutamanya kawasan Simpang Renggam....
That's it.

Nothing, absolutely nothing on the key matters which affects Malaysia, on the key issues why Gerakan was almost wiped out in the last general elections. Nothing at all from all the bravado and hype in recent weeks in the media on how Gerakan about setting up a special task force to review the Internal Security Act (ISA), Printing Presses and Publications Act and the Universities and University Colleges Act in order to "strengthen the parliamentary democratic system", or become a "louder conscience in Barisan Nasional" and have a meaningful role in the coalition. There wasn't even any real concrete critique of the Budget which we were debating, despite its many obvious flaws which were pointed out even by his own BN colleagues.

Nothing. All talk outside parliament, but not even a whimper in Parliament where it matters. Even the rowdy Kinabatangan, who is often the butt of our jokes and anger, does a hundred times better job in Parliament in acting as the "conscience of Barisan". And that says a lot.

As Sdr Lim Kit Siang has also highlighted on his blog when we are seeking endorsement to have ISA debated (note: not a request for abolishment), we are also hearing pin-drop silence from both Gerakan and MCA. Chicken.
Lim noted that the situation does not bode well for MCA and Gerakan, whose top leaders have called for a review of the ISA, that their MPs had not shown more support for the petition.

Lim said the failure of these two parties to translate the resolutions made at recent annual conferences - to push for a review of the ISA - would be tantamount to betraying their delegates.

“It means they have betrayed the mandate of the annual MCA and Gerakan delegates’ conference,” Lim said, adding that 74 Pakatan MPs signed the petition. The signatures of the remaining Pakatan MPs could not be obtained as they were overseas at the time.
Maybe, just maybe, the top leader(s) in Gerakan is still wishing for a senatorship for a ministership in the Badawi-Najib cabinet, and is clearly willing to remain in servitude to UMNO to the very end.
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