KUALA LUMPUR: The concept of power sharing and inclusivity based on the principle of moderation is the best formula for Malaysia, says Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.
He called on all political parties across the political divide to join Gerakan in the movement to build a moderate Malaysia.
Mah also reiterated the party’s stand against the implementation of PAS’ Private Members’ Bill aimed at empowering the Syariah Courts.
“We respect Islam but it is a matter of the Federal Constitution, while the Bill concerns the division of the civil and the syariah laws.
“Amendments to the Act must not be used as a backdoor attempt to implement Islamic criminal law,” he said in his policy speech at Gerakan’s 45th National Delegates Conference at Menara PGRM yesterday.
Mah also expressed support for the formation of the National Consultative Council 2 (NCC2), and urged the Government to revisit the idea.
“It must be comprised of various experts and professionals on the economy, government bodies, social and corporate sectors.
“It is time to discuss our differences in a serious and sincere manner and find a point that we can agree on to foster unity,” he said.
On the Budget 2017 proposals, he said the Government should set up a national scholarship for all Malaysians based solely on merit and not ethnicity.
The scholarship, said Mah, should be funded through a 1% tax increase on wealthy citizens and companies.
He suggested that the 1% increase should be imposed on all citizens with an income of more than RM1mil and companies with a revenue of more than RM300mil in order to fund the scholarship.
“We want to stop the brain drain and we want more of them here,” he said.
At the meeting, the party also announced its first five candidates to contest in Selangor – Selangor Gerakan chairman Datuk David Ang Chin Tat for the Puchong parliamentary seat, party vice-president Datuk A. Kohilan Pillay (Kota Shah Alam state seat), Youth secretary Ben Liew Pok Boon (Teratai state seat), party deputy speaker Syed Abd Razak Syed Long Alsagoff (Bukit Lanjan state seat) and party law and human rights bureau chairman Chai Ko Thing (Bukit Gasing).
Later, in his winding-up speech, Mah reiterated the duty of Gerakan as a unifying force.
“Gerakan has a duty to make sure the country is united to pull people together. This is our job. That’s why I said to hold your heads up.
“Gerakan is a good party,” he said.
“We have a lot to do in the next year for the people and for the country.
“We cannot afford to give up on this,” he said.
The two-day Gerakan conference ended yesterday.