First Malay to contest a Gerakan top post in years

NST

Dr Asharuddin Ahmad wants to debunk the misconception that Gerakan is a Chinese party
Dr Asharuddin Ahmad wants to debunk the misconception that Gerakan is a Chinese party

KUALA LUMPUR: Gerakan vice-president aspirant Dr Asharuddin Ahmad is the first Malay to contest a top party post since the 1980s.

The last time Malays helmed top posts in Gerakan was in the 1970s.

Founding member Prof Syed Hussein Alatas was the party’s first president, while former Penang speaker Datuk Harun Sirat and Penang’s first deputy chief minister Datuk Mustafa Hussein held senior positions.

Currently, Wanita vice-chief Azmar Md Ilias is the highest-ranking Malay.

Dr Asharuddin decided to contest to debunk the misconception that Gerakan is a Chinese party.
“I’m offering myself for the vice-presidency because I feel I can contribute more in that capacity.

“I believe my participation will encourage more non-Chinese to join the party,” he said after filing his nomination papers at the party’s headquarters yesterday.

He is one of the 10 candidates vying for the three vice-president posts.

The soft-spoken 49-year-old is confident about his chances.

“I’m a grassroots man. I’m not unknown to members. I consider my chances as quite good.”

He said he chose to join Gerakan in 1998 instead of Umno because he believed in the party’s struggle in championing a Bangsa Malaysia.

“I don’t encourage race-based politics. The Malay community is mature and we want to have a level playing field.”

Despite his busy schedule as the chief operating officer of the International College of Health Sciences, Dr Asharuddin said he would find time to campaign and to meet as many delegates as possible.

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