KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 — The Gerak Independent (GI) movement said its politically unaffiliated candidates would be ready to be fielded by March, coinciding with the launch of its People Elect app.
The movement comprising groups such as Malaysian Action for Justice, Unity Foundation (Maju), I Am The Third Force, KitaBantuKita, and Malaysia First said it has shortlisted many potential candidates.
They will undergo transparent vetting that included live public hearings for all the candidates prior to their inclusion in the app.
Spokesman Siti Zabedah Kasim said the group would not reveal, however, the number and identity of these candidates or where they would contest ahead of the general election.
“We got quite a bit of (submission to be the GI independent candidate) we don’t have any GI candidates yet, there are many submissions, but they all have to undergo the vetting process.
“They will have to go through committee vetting, people who held the same values and have good track records among them. We need to have time, it would be a couple of months before we can finalise a candidate.
“By the time People Elect is announced, we hope we will be able to have the candidates.
“Where are we going to contest? That is something we cannot disclose right now because that is our strategy,” he said in an online press conference today.
Siti said although the group was called “progressive” and “liberals”, which might not gel with the rural areas in the country, the priority was to united urban voters first using values such as championing good politics and eradicating corruption.
She said being progressive does not mean championing “liberals lifestyle” but fighting for rights as well as to eradicate poverty and corruption to ensure the country realises such values.
“We will not forget the Malay heartlands in the rural areas.
“We first have to unite amongst ourselves, the so-called progressives. Not to say the kampung people are not progressive because in my experience some of them are more progressive than urban people,” she said.
Activist Arun Dorasamy said the group planned to contest up to 20 parliamentary seats in the next GE in order to create a working small bloc of MPs that could be a tie-breaker in deciding the course of the nation in parliament.
“This is what we have planned, how big these numbers will grow depends on the rakyat,” he said.
In an interview with Malay Mail in October, Siti Kasim said the plan was to “disrupt” the traditional power structure in the country by offering up candidates who would be loyal to their constituents instead of parties.
“When you put someone who is disciplined, who is principled, we hope that person can stand for what they speak about all this while.
“They are the reluctant statesmen, they did not join politics to be rich. They join politics because of their integrity and to serve the people.
“We hope by putting Gerak Independent candidates, we are able to implement some kind of laws in order to make the country better.
“Do you want a principled person who will represent you, or do you want a candidate from a political party who will only listen to his or her warlord?” she told Malay Mail.
Former Sungai Benut MP, Mohd Tawfik Ismail has already offered himself to return to politics as a Gerak independent candidate.
The group has also previously expressed hope that Tawfik, eldest son of the late Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s second deputy prime minister, could shake up the traditional power structure.