Ivanpal reflects on the ‘bad night for Gerakan’

Ivanpal Grewal (second from left) at an event at Teluk Intan in Decembr 2017 – Photo: Ivanpal Grewal Facebook

Ivanpal Singh Grewal, a political secretary and a leader from the Gerakan party, was one of the first few to announce his resignation as the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition began starring at a disastrous outing at the Malaysian general elections.

“So here it goes. It’s a bad night for Gerakan. We will likely only have one parliament seat,” read his entry at his Facebook page just after 10pm on 9 May 2018. Malaysian voted earlier that day.

His boss Mah Siew Keong, the Gerakan president and the Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, lost the Teluk Intan parliamentary seat.

As the results unfolded, BN itself got wiped out, dethroned for the first time from the Federal level after ruling the nation for 61 years. It began as the Alliance Party after Merdeka (independence) in 1957.

Ivanpal was the political secretary to the minister as well as the Gerakan Selangor Youth vice-chairman and secretary of the Gerakan political bureau. That night itself, he had announced his resignations from all his positions in the party.

“I’ve done my best but it wasn’t good enough. As operations director for BN Teluk Intan, I have to accept responsibility. I will officially resign from all my positions in Gerakan and all other related political positions. It’s been a good 10 years. As painful as it is, the will of the people must be accepted. I’ve given this country 10 years of life, now it’s time for me to relax a little. To all who have been part of this journey with me, thank you. God bless Malaysia,” he continued in the same Facebook entry.

Well, it was a bad night for many others, as well. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad led the Pakatan Harapan coalition to power at the Federal level and captured a few extra states. It was a victory not many saw coming.




By Jagdip Singh | MALAYSIA | OPINION

It has taken me some time to fully recollect my thoughts on what has happened over the last few days.

A change of government is as historic as it gets in Malaysia and the fact that the entire process went on smoothly and is a testament to the resilience of our democracy and I have always maintained that the will of the people is supreme and must be respected.

I wish Tun Dr Mahathir, our 7th PM the very best. Despite my political affiliations, it is important for me to give him my best wishes because the country must succeed.

However, I will also not hesitate to speak up on issues close to my heart and if the new government deserves to be criticised, I will not hesitate & I will do so.

Many asked me, why did I join politics and why did I join BN? Frankly, I believed back in 2008 and I believe now, that the country needed change. I chose to change from within and I am proud of my small achievements. However, the national mood was very negative towards BN and nothing we could have done to stem this tidal wave of anger and resentment. In a way, it is the end of an ancien régime. A new way is indeed good for the country and Gerakan and by extension BN now has the impetus as well to make much needed reforms.

I, like many of my colleagues, completely misread the situation and did not see this loss coming. For that, I owe an apology to all my party colleagues who I let down.
What about Teluk Intan? The loss in Teluk Intan was the most painful for me. I am not ashamed to say that I wept. I wept because of all the work we did was completely ignored and the results was a complete antitheses to what I had hoped for.

In 4 years, my boss transformed the town and gave it his all. I too put everything else on a backburner because I felt Teluk Intan deserved all my attention. To all my colleagues and friends who helped me with my work in Teluk Intan, I can never repay your kindness. There will forever be a place in my heart for Teluk Intan but for now; I really need a break.

I wish Nga Kor Ming and my friend, Terrence Naidu the best. I do hope they continue my boss’ good work and regardless of the pain I feel, Teluk Intan must continue to grow.
Personally, in an emotional post on election night, I accepted moral responsibility for Gerakan’s loss and resigned from my positions in the party, which included Selangor Gerakan Youth Vice-Chairman and Secretary of the Political Bureau. I did not need to resign as political secretary as it lapsed as soon as my boss lost his reelection bid. It is the right thing to do. There has been a deluge of calls and implorations; asking me to reconsider. Respectfully, I cannot. However, I remain a branch chairman of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia and a delegate. I intend to play my part in the party’s reformation but not in any major way as I did previously.

Lastly, the time has come for me to live a little. I thank all of you who took the time to send me messages and comments. I am heartened by the love and the good vibes. I now must return to my family that I have neglected. I would like to know my nephew and niece a little better. I owe it to my girlfriend to be the better boyfriend she deserves.

I must also thank my friends, who almost all do not agree with my political views, but came up to Teluk Intan to see me during the campaign and also those of you who helped me pack my belongings in my office. I must say, I am a lucky man indeed.

So here it goes, nothing is permanent in politics. I may return sometime in the future if there is a need. But for now, I will take that break I keep talking about and put my life together. I look forward to driving on my own, navigating messy underground carparks, having a drink at early hours and traveling.

I would also apologise for any shortcomings on my part. I take full responsibility for them.


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