KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — Gerakan president Datuk Dominic Lau has reminded Perikatan Nasional (PN) component parties to respect each other as they champion their respective party struggles. 

Lau said while all coalition leaders had a right to air their views, the feelings of PN component parties should always be taken into account. 

“I agree and indeed we leaders all agree that each party can defend its own rights. It’s okay; everybody can fight for their own rights.

“But our principle, while you fight for your own rights, is that you do not hurt the hearts of other parties.

“I agree that there are different views and opinions that we can resolve in a meeting… we can try to resolve this together as component parties,” he said during his opening address at his party’s 50th Annual General Assembly. 

He cited an example where Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor announced that the state government had decided it would no longer approve gambling licences to any gambling premises in the state to ensure it is free from such activities in the future. 

Muhammad Sanusi reportedly said that during the state government’s special executive council meeting in November, all 12 local authorities in the state agreed they would not approve any application for licence renewal for gambling premises.

Lau also emphasised that under the PN coalition, its component parties reflected the multicultural makeup of the country and that this was the coalition’s strength. 

“Indeed, when we received the announcement, there were many views, different opinions, some agreed, some disagreed.

“But most non-Malays do not agree. I texted Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, I said, ‘We do not agree but we respect the decision of the Kedah mentri besar’. 

“Why? Because he is elected by the people and it is according to the constitution that he has the power to make these decisions,” he said. 

Muhammad Sanusi had in November said that gambling had a huge negative impact on those involved while only a handful benefited from it, namely the gambling operators.

He also said that although the government was not closing down existing gambling premises, it would not renew gambling licences and this would result in the operators unable to run their businesses once their licence expired.

In addition to that, Muhammad Sanusi said the Kedah state government had also decided to limit the sales of alcoholic beverages in the state, especially in areas where there was no demand such as in rural areas.