KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — Gerakan celebrated its 53rd anniversary today with a pledge to remain relevant, by focusing on regaining power in Penang and helping Perikatan Nasional (PN) to win the 15th general election (GE15).
Gerakan president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau Hoe Chai said the party was still relevant and had been playing an active role in championing the welfare of the rakyat.
“Our duty now is to ensure that Gerakan remains relevant for the next 53 years and beyond,” he said in his address at the party’s 53rd anniversary celebration at Menara PGRM here.
Lau said Gerakan’s focus now was to help PN win a comfortable majority in GE15 and to recapture Penang, which used to be its power base.
“Penang will be Gerakan’s focus in GE15. Penang was where Gerakan started; we achieved success in Penang, we fell in Penang and we are confident that Gerakan will rise again in Penang,” he added.
In the 14th general election in May 2018, Gerakan contested 22 parliamentary and 31 state seats under the Barisan Nasional (BN) ticket but lost all.
On June 23, 2018, Gerakan quit BN, which was also toppled in GE14.
On Feb 11 this year, Gerakan joined the ruling PN as its fifth component party.
Gerakan was founded in March 1968 by, among others, Prof Syed Hussein Alatas and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, who became its first president.
Similar celebrations were held at the party’s state offices throughout the country, with strict adherence to the standard operating procedure for COVID-19 prevention.
In GEORGE TOWN, Penang Gerakan chairman Oh Tong Keong said the party would be conducting smaller-scale campaigns and harnessing the power of social media as part of the new norm for GE15.
“Large, physical campaigns such as talk sessions and door-to-door visits would be replaced with a reduced-scale (approach), with a shift of focus to online by utilising social media,” he said in a press conference after the celebration at the Penang branch office at Jalan Macalister.
He said despite the change in the party’s election campaign style, Gerakan would continue to listen to the people’s needs and concerns and provide them the necessary help and support.
In IPOH, Perak Gerakan chairman Datuk See Tean Seng said the party would continue to disseminate the message behind its struggle for the people.
“We hold fast to our basic ideological struggle, that is to fight for democracy, the people, justice, the country’s stability, and we welcome views and feedback from the rakyat to help us remain relevant in the political arena,” he added.