Gerakan told: Be ‘public friendly’
> PM calls on party to boost efforts to garner grassroots support
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak yesterday called on Gerakan members to have courage in their convictions.
In his message via a pre-recorded video at Menara PGRM yesterday, Najib said he was confident the party’s performance in the next general election can be improved under the leadership of its president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.
In addressing the 1,200 delegates attending the two day 45th Gerakan National Delegates’ Conference themed “Unite for Progress and Prosperity”, Najib advised the party to be public-friendly and ensure it has a cohesive and organised work structure.
The premier, who is on an official visit to Thailand, advised all party members to continue working hard to garner grassroots support for the party and Barisan Nasional (BN).
“We have to deflect the Opposition’s accusations that often twist issues and spoil the country’s good image,” said Najib.
Through sincere cooperation, BN will continue to be successful in leading Malaysia towards greater success, he said.
In his speech, Mah said the party will heed the prime minister’s advice and work hard to win seats.
He also stressed that action should be taken against those who disrupt the nation’s peace and harmony.
“It does not matter who they are, whether they are Gerakan, DAP, PAS or Umno members. It does not matter if they are (supporters of the) red, yellow or green shirt (groups).
He was referring to an unruly incident during a Bersih rally on Saturday in which Red Shirt supporters assaulted a Bersih member.
Mah expressed concern that such incidents could destroy the harmony that had been built over the years.
He also called for all political parties, friends and foes alike, to join Gerakan for a moderate Malaysia.
On higher education scholarships that are now scarce, Mah said the government should set up a national scholarship for all Malaysians based solely on merit and not ethnicity.
This scholarship would be funded through a 1% tax increase on wealthy citizens and companies.
“Although this may not be popular, we suggest the 1% tax increase be imposed on all Malaysian citizens with an income of more than RM1 million and companies with a revenue of more than RM300 million,” he said.
Mah said this would stop “brain drain” and more scholars would get an opportunity to pursue tertiary education.
... Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor being given a warm welcome upon their arrival in Bangkok yesterday. Najib will be attending the two-day Second Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit, which begins today.