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Gerakan In The News

Gerakan tells Penang to forget politics, focus on economic recovery

Jun 25, 2020

GEORGE TOWN: Stop the political games and focus on Penang’s recovery plan amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

This was Gerakan’s terse message to the Penang government following the current political upheaval in the state.

Gerakan vice-president Datuk Baljit Singh said the political upheaval could not have come at a worse time for Penangites, who are already grappling with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic since the beginning of the year.

“I call on the Penang government to focus on the people’s welfare and putting the state back on the right track of economic recovery instead of wasting time on political games and political upmanship.

“There is much that needs to be done as the people grapple with these uncertain times, where an increasingly large number of individuals are losing their jobs, factories forced to close shop and the tourism sector almost left paralysed, with the closure of several hotels and declining arrivals,” he said today.

Baljit’s comments came in the wake of recent political development involving Seberang Jaya assemblyman Dr Afif Bahardin, who was pressured to resign from his post as a state executive councillor following an internal crisis in his former party, PKR, which had raised the political temperature in Penang.

Dr Afif, who was sacked from PKR recently, has since been declared as an opposition assemblyman by the Penang Pakatan Harapan Leadership Council, a move which the former described as undemocratic and against parliamentary principles.

The Penang Pakatan Harapan Leadership Council had also declared that Dr Afif, along with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu)’s Bertam assemblyman Khaliq Mehtab Mohd Ishak and Teluk Bahang assemblyman Zolkifly Md Lazim as no longer being part of the state government.

This happened after the assemblymen voiced their support for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s leadership.

Following this, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced that the Penang government had suspended the allocations and privileges for the trio for backing the Perikatan Nasional federal government.

Chow is also seeking to table a motion at the next state legislative assembly to compel the duo to vacate their seats.

“We are hardly into the second year after going through the 14th General Election (GE14) and it is truly unfortunate that politicians are already disappointing the people by neglecting their sworn duties to perform in the best interest of the rakyat and instead pursue their own selfish agendas,” Baljit added.

Speaking to the New Straits Times yesterday, Dr Afif had said that he would be sitting with Bersatu’s representatives when the state legislative assembly sitting resumes year end.