KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 — Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan) said today its candidates would be the bulk of Perikatan Nasional’s hopefuls for the Penang election, as it bids to regain the state it once governed for decades.
Party president Datuk Dominic Lau told a press conference here to announce where Gerakan will stand in the six state elections on August 12 that it would field 19 representatives in Penang.
Lau told reporters here this afternoon that he also plans to contest, amid rumours that he would become PN’s chief minister candidate should the coalition win Penang.
“Of course I would contest. I am a Penang boy,” he said.
The Gerakan president is rumoured to eye the Bukit Tengah state legislature seat.
But Lau is currently facing a three-way challenge for his presidency, and internal pundits said his competitors have mounted a strong challenge.
Should he lose, Lau’s ambition to lead PN’s charge to govern one of the most coveted states in the country would likely be upended.
The results of the party polls are expected to be out by tonight, at the latest.
Meanwhile, the Gerakan president said the party would contest in three other states.
The former Barisan Nasional component will stand in eight seats in Selangor, three in Kedah, and six in Negeri Sembilan, likely where the ethnic background of its electorates are highly mixed.
Gerakan, already dwindling at the time, abandoned Barisan Nasional after the coalition suffered its first electoral defeat in the 2018 general election.
It has now become the “minority face” of the Malay-dominated PN coalition, but pundits believe a Gerakan revival is not likely to succeed given its association with PAS.
The Islamist party wields the most clout in the bloc, and PAS leaders have amplified nativist messages in their attacks against the federal ruling coalition in the buildup to the state polls, which critics say border on extremism and racism.
Polling in Selangor, Penang, Kedah, Terengganu, Kelantan and Negeri Sembilan will be held simultaneously on August 12.