Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has expressed hope that Gerakan’s entry into Perikatan Nasional (PN) will strengthen the ruling coalition’s appeal as a multi-racial political force.
Gerakan officially joined PN last month amidst talk of a general election in the second half of the year.
Speaking in a pre-recorded video message this morning to officiate the party’s annual general meeting, Muhyiddin congratulated Gerakan for joining the government.
“I am very confident that Gerakan’s entry will strengthen PN as a coalition of political parties at the national level that comprises parties representing multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-regional communities in this country.
“I believe that with its long history and political experience since its inception in 1968, Gerakan will be able to be a significant component partner to PN. Congratulations.
“The PN government has always held on to the principles of diversity and inclusivity in Malaysian society. Therefore, the entry of Gerakan is timely in strengthening PN as a coalition of national political parties that symbolises the diversity of this country’s plural society,” he said.
Elaborating, Muhyiddin said PN was offering a “new deal” to the rakyat which included competent leadership, integrity, political longevity as well as racial and religious unity.
“PN is offering a new deal to all Malaysians and we are here to stay for a long time.”
The premier also hinted that an election was around the corner and urged Gerakan to be prepared.
“As a political party, I am sure Gerakan and other PN component parties are always ready to face elections.
“Aside from preparing party machinery at every level, we must also prepare by learning from past experiences, which means we must always reach out to the rakyat and obtain their trust.
“We must gain the trust of the rakyat that we are the government that cares night and day,” he said.
Gerakan quit BN following the coalition’s 14th general election (GE14) loss in May 2018.
It remained a standalone party until May 2020 when it pledged support to PN despite previously criticising the latter as a “backdoor” administration.
It became an official member of the ruling coalition in February.
Gerakan president Dominic Lau explained that the change in position was a stab at winning seats in the next election.
Gerakan peaked between 2003 and 2008 when they had 10 parliamentary seats and 30 state seats plus controlled the Penang state government.
They did not win any seats in GE14.