Baljit contesting because he wants change in Gerakan

GEORGE TOWN (Sept 9, 2013): Gerakan Penang chairman aspirant Baljit Singh has quashed rumours that he is a proxy for outgoing state chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan to contest against former Penang Barisan Nasional chief Teng Chang Yeow in the state party election this Sunday.

“I am no one’s proxy or poodle, nor do I belong to anyone. I only belong to Gerakan,” he said in a press conference at the state party’s headquarters today with several party members present.

Baljit, who is also the party’s legal and human rights bureau chief, explained that his meeting with Hock Nan, which fuelled the rumours, was “an act of courtesy” to express his intention to stand in the polls, as Chang Yeow had done as well.

He also explained that he could not be there on nomination day last Sunday as he was at a wedding reception in Kuala Lumpur.

“I was not running away from anything. “

Baljit expressed hope of bringing Gerakan back to its pre-BN glory days of 1969, when it was an effective opposition party.

“We do not want those with political baggage and we want to speak out without fear or favour. We want to check and balance the (Penang) state government,” he said.

Baljit also intends to change “the image of Gerakan as a Chinese party” to be “a multiracial party for all Malaysians” instead.

Asked about his chances of winning as he only received one nomination compared with Chang Yeow’s 14, Baljit said the 399 state delegates can choose whomever they want to.

However, he advised the delegates: “Do not love Chang Yeow less, but love Gerakan more – the welfare of the party is paramount.”