Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What is the relevancy of Gerakan in Barisan Nasional?

Gerakan is a well-known Penang base political party especially during the era of Gerakan-led Penang government. When it started off as an opposition party, people did have very high hopes and expectations for them. But gone away are the golden days and the party is at its upmost challenging crossroads following the dismal results of the March 8, 2008 general election.

Gerakan is claimed to be dejected or demoralized. Practically, it was whitewashed only with just two parliamentary and four state seats captured. The dismal result showed a political scenario that Gerakan can’t remain its relevancy in Barisan Nasional. It is by far the most serious issue to be addressed if lack of urgency to stop the political decline.

It is a controversial claimed by the opposition that the instigation of racial animosities and scum racists had contributed to the collapse of confidence in BN and voted many of the racist out of office in the March election.

The questions arise, will Gerakan survive politically after suffering the major setback and what are the next political strategies? Will the scenario turn into a destabilizing and destructive force in the political system?

Looking for excuses and spinning the issues were the main strategy after its massive losses in the March 8 polls were the immediate remedies taken by Gerakan to stabilize the supporters and party members. Unexpectedly, it caused undermine and most critical internal challenge from the radical group of Penang UMNO.

The primary differences between these two political parties emerged after Gerakan suffering the massive setback in Penang. Viewed in this context, these negative political forces are identifying the consequences of losing state government power and causing the basic dividing line between Gerakan and UMNO.

Obviously the future of Gerakan is still uncertain and it could be well die a natural death. One of the most important questions emerging is none other than should Gerakan pull out from Barisan Nasional? There seem to be three possibilities for the variation in the ease or difficulty for the future of Gerakan although 60 percent of its members wanted to quit the coalition; Gerakan can continue to stay in the Barisan Nasional but to review its position in BN; withdrawal from the Barisan Nasional and become independent opposition party or joining Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

The political parties that seem to share common ground on many issues fail to agree each other especially the issue of ISA was claimed by some political analysis to be the root cause of the internal conflict in BN. The absences of “good faith bargaining” after the dismal general results seem that Gerakan lost his bargaining power and not entertained by UMNO. This is a big shame and embracement of the party which is simply unacceptable by Gerakan.

The simplest way of measuring this criterion is whether there exist any priori unwillingness to negotiate with a losing people’s mandate party which caused a complete absence of “deal-breaking” preconditions reflected by the radical group of Penang UMNO’s recent sentiments.

This would be a fairly simple determination of whether the partnership either agreed to or otherwise on the spirit of Barisan Nasional based upon their parties’ core values and current status.

It would seem the proposal of withdrawal from Barisan Nasional to become independent opposition party might be another alternative for Gerakan to strategize its political game plan. Should the role of watchdog and pressure group over both the BN and Pakatan Rakyat bring the reinvent of the party are the aspects to be considered.

The solution of leaving Barisan Nasional and joining the Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance is another option for Gerakan. It did not surprise many people as it was something to be expected as the party had displayed such a tendency. But it just working like the two pedals of a bicycle that rotate the connecting chain and move the entire mechanism.

By and large, the political status and role play by joining Pakatan Rakyat to establish at least a potential coherent minimum-winning alliance seems need to be considered carefully by Gerakan. It is the responsibility of the political elite to bargain for a better consensus although Gerakan is very weak and lost much good faith bargaining now.

Can Gerakan be able to reinvent itself to springboard towards the possibility of recapturing power at the next general election through increasing more Malays and less Chinese members or otherwise?

In order to be heading in the right direction, Gerakan should be very wise about the mythical. Should it carve out a niche for itself, or it may well die a natural death.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ya....gone away are the golden days
of Gerakan..... takkan pisang berbuah dua kaili?