KUALA LUMPUR, 18 Aug 2008: Gerakan Wanita chief Datuk Tan Lian Hoe has denied that she supported Perak Gerakan delegates’ call for the party to leave the Barisan Nasional (BN) if racial and religious issues could not be resolved by the coalition, saying that she was merely voicing out the concerns of the grassroots.
She said she had been misquoted as the statement was made by Perak’s main delegates and not by the Wanita wing.
"However, as leaders of a democratic party, we could not stop them from voicing out their grievances concerning the events happening in the country of late.
"Nevertheless certain incidents in regard to race and religion have caused uneasiness to some and we have to listen to our grassroots," Tan, who is also
Perak Gerakan Wanita chief, told a news conference at Menara PGRM here.
She was clarifying news reports that about 80% of the delegates who attended Perak Gerakan’s delegates conference wanted the matter to be debated at the party’s upcoming national delegates’ conference in October.
Tan, who is also deputy information minister, said she had met and explained the matter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek during a meeting in Parliament on 18 Aug.
"There was no pressure whatsoever for me to make the explanation to them. Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi accepted my explanation that it had been a miscommunication.
"He also told me that he had been informed by several leaders of the component parties of the same issues and that he will take note of the things voiced out," she said.
Tan said the Perak delegates’ concerns would be brought to the attention of the party’s national leadership during its Central Working Committee and Central Committee meetings.
She said Gerakan MPs were loyal to the BN and would never jump ship. – Bernama