KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 ― To Gerakan president Datuk Dominic Lau, the manner in which a coalition becomes the government does not matter so long as it does a good job.
The politician whose party was officially accepted as a component of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) last February 11 told The Malaysian Insight that though the ruling coalition under Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has been repeatedly derided as a “back door government”, the reality is that it holds federal power today.
“It does not matter if the government came through the back door or the front door as long as it’s doing a good job.
“At least we can see that Muhyiddin is not interfering with the judicial system. PN’s performance as government is up to the people to judge,” he was quoted as saying in an interview published today.
Lau appeared to suggest that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Opposition coalition led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was no different and would be willing to compromise on certain things in order to gain power.
“But on the opposite side, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim had been willing to negotiate with Umno leaders who have pending court cases to get their support,” he told the news portal.
He added that the same was true of the DAP, another PH component. Lau pointed out that Perak DAP chief Nga Kor Ming had willingly offered to work with its arch nemesis Umno to form the state government last December after both parties voted to oust Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu from Bersatu as mentri besar.
Lau also explained to The Malaysian Insight Gerakan’s reasons for joining PN. The party was previously a component of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition that included Umno, but withdrew after the 2018 general election.
“I must confess that in the past, it was difficult to make our views and voices heard in BN.
“Due to our limited role in BN, the Gerakan leadership decided to withdraw from it,” Lau was quoted saying.
He claimed Muhyiddin accepted Gerakan into PN so the ruling coalition would reflect the diverse racial and religious makeup of the country.
Lau said that the decision to join PN had been carefully discussed at every level in Gerakan, and added that his party's first task from Muhyiddin was to assist in PN's National Unity Blueprint 2021-2030.
He added that Gerakan would also strive for PN's victory, even if the party was not given any seats to contest in the 15th general election.
Lau said Gerakan has also informed Muhyiddin that the party still regards Penang as its frontline state, and would play its role as a check-and-balance agency on the DAP-led state government there.
“DAP has been in power in Penang since 2008 but so far, we have not seen a comprehensive plan to develop Penang.
“Funds for large-scale projects had been given, but the construction had not started. The Penang people will decide again in GE15,” Lau was quoted saying.