Gerakan's chance of coming back is 'zero', predict analysts

KOUSALYA SELVAM
KOUSALYA SELVAM
20 Jun 2023 09:02am
Gerakan president Datuk Dominic Lau
Gerakan president Datuk Dominic Lau
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SHAH ALAM - Gerakan's likelihood of making a comeback in the upcoming elections is "zero".

Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Tasmania Professor James Chin says Gerakan's inclusion in the coalition is merely a window dressing aimed at creating the illusion of a multiracial representation within the ruling coalition.

Chin states two key reasons for this.

"First, Gerakan's core support has always come from the non-Malays community. This community will not vote for Gerakan because they know that Gerakan is a marginalised player in Perikatan Nasional (PN) and PN consist Pas and Bersatu.

"Second reason, if we look at the past few years of election, space for multiracial politics has become smaller and smaller. There are many race and religious issues raised in last general election.

"Gerakan is just a window dressing to make PN to look multiracial," he told Sinar Daily.

Even if there is green wave, referring to Islamic party Pas, James said the voters are unlikely to support Gerakan since the party will be contesting mostly in non-Malay areas.

"Those people (voters) are already supporting DAP or PKR so there is no space for Gerakan," he said.

Meanwhile, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) political analyst Datuk Professor Dr Jayum Anak Jawan said attempt by Gerakan to resurrect itself in Penang may meet an uphill effort.

"Associating itself with PN may not be enough because Gerakan will be vying for Chinese majority seats.

"So, its assocation with PN may earn the party non-Chinese votes but that alone is not enough to take away Chinese majority seats that have been held by DAP," he added.

Commenting further, Political Scientist at Sunway University Professor Wong Chin Huat said Gerakan is unlikely to make a comeback in the upcoming state election.

"This is certain unless PN is willing to let Gerakan to contest in some Malay majority state seats.

"If Gerakan were to stand in Chinese majority or mixed state seats, they will be wiped out," he said.

Wong further said that Gerakan would lose their deposits if it were to contest in Chinese majority seats.

"Gerakan is seen as purely an opportunistic party and its political master Pas has constantly attacked Malaysia's multicultural society in general and non-Muslims in particular," he said.

On June 18, Gerakan president Datuk Dominic Lau announced that he will be contesting in one of the states seats in Seberang Perai, Penang.

"I will announce the state constituency after the dissolution of the state assembly,” he told reporters after opening the Penang Gerakan annual delegates conference today.