Gerakan suspended one of its members over a controversial remark, on a matter of principle, a party insider claimed.

Citing a similar controversy sparked by an Umno member in 2008, the source told The Rakyat Post that Gerakan had then demanded action to be taken.

Six years ago, Bukit Bendera Umno division Datuk Ahmad Ismail referred to the Chinese community here as ‘pendatang’ (immigrants).

Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was then the Deputy Prime Minister apologised for Ahmad’s remarks.

“So in the same vein, we took action. We are a principled party.”

Yesterday Gerakan suspended the membership of Johor delegate Tan Lai Soon following his “pendatang” remark. Tan was also issued a show cause letter.

The decision was made following an emergency meeting that was called in response to complaints lodged by 14 Gerakan members.

Tan had at the party’s 43rd National Delegates’ Conference on Sunday suggested that Malays, Chinese and Indians were “pendatang”.

He had earlier chastised Umno members for calling Chinese and Indians as ‘pendatang’, saying Malays were no different as they had come from Indonesia.

Tan later apologised for his remark.

The source, however, said that there was a lack of understanding revolving around Tan’s suspension.

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