PETALING JAYA: Sept 8, 2008 By ELIZABETH LOOI and BEH YUEN HUI
Gerakan is studying whether it can still play a "meaningful role" in the Barisan Nasional, says acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.
“A meaningful role means genuine mutual respect among component party members, able to share ideas and getting consulted on major programmes and policies,” he said.
He said Gerakan’s membership in Barisan was not unconditional as was reported previously.
“I think it’s only a fair thing ... to assess. It’s not as if it is to slap our Barisan partners in the face. No, we are not irresponsible,” he said in a press conference after opening the Selangor Gerakan state delegates conference yesterday.
Asked if this meant there was a possibility of Gerakan leaving the coalition, Dr Koh said: “I don’t know what else I can say. You want to write it like that, you go ahead.”
Dr Koh said Gerakan was not a yes-man in the coalition but they would also not leave merely because another component party’s member attacked them.
He said Gerakan would give itself a “reasonable” amount of time to review its position in Barisan.
He added Gerakan was a founding partner of Barisan and they should not just leave because they were upset with “some things.”
Earlier, Dr Koh said Barisan should draw up a code of ethics to discipline members from all component parties.
He said the disciplinary procedure should transcend all parties so that sensitive matters could be solved objectively.
On its former Federal Territories chief Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong joining Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Dr Koh said Gerakan was not surprised