Mah to resign as Gerakan chief

Dato’ Seri Mah Siew Keong has announced that he will step down as Gerakan president, following the party’s dismal performance in the 14th General Election.

In GE14, Gerakan lost in all 11 parliamentary and 31 state seats it contested.

Gerakan became an independent party on June 23 after deciding to leave the Barisan Nasional coalition, which it had been a member of since 1973.

Gerakan has 150 divisions and 1,080 branches nationwide.

SEREMBAN: Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong today announced that he will step down as Gerakan president, following the party’s dismal performance in the 14th General Election.

Mah, who failed to defend his Teluk Intan parliamentary seat, expressed his dismay after the party failed to win a single seat in GE14.

“Three of four months ago, I received many requests from party members asking me to stay on, but I made a promise to resign if the party performed badly.

“I would like to thank everyone (party members) and I would like to announce that I will not continue serving as party president,” he said after opening the Negri Sembilan Gerakan delegates’ conference at Wisma Gerakan here today.

This is his last programme as Gerakan president.

In GE14, Gerakan lost in all 11 parliamentary and 31 state seats it contested.

Gerakan became an independent party on June 23 after deciding to leave the Barisan Nasional coalition, which it had been a member of since 1973.

“We will have a new leader. I led Gerakan and I must take responsibility even though many people said it’s not our fault. I must take responsibility as party president,” said Mah.

Mah said Gerakan members must elect a mix of experienced and new leaders to rejuvenate the party.

“As a party, we cannot elect an entirely new lineup of leaders. Some of the (previous office bearers) must stay on until we get back on our feet,” he added.

In GE14, Mah and Pas candidate Dr Ahmad Ramadzan Ahmad Daud lost in Teluk Intan to Perak DAP chairman Nga Kor Ming, who won with a majority of 11,179 votes.

On a related matter, Mah denied claims that Gerakan members deserted the party en masse following its dismal outing in GE14.

“We have 300,000 members and there are not many who left the party… the secretary-general (Datuk Liang Teck Meng) told me those who entered the party outnumbered those who left.

“So, claims that we are sinking are unfounded,” he said.

The former plantation industry and commodities minister said Gerakan has begun reorganising the party by granting members the mandate to elect the party’s central leadership.

Gerakan has 150 divisions and 1,080 branches nationwide.

He also announced that Datuk Choong Vee Hing would remain as Negri Sembilan Gerakan chairman.

Meanwhile, when asked about the party’s stand on the upcoming by-election in Port Dickson, Mah said the matter would be decided later.

“We need to gather views before making a decision because we have 2,070 members in Port Dickson who will vote,” he said.

The Port Dickson by-election was triggered following its MP Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah’s decision to vacate the seat to pave the way for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s return to Parliament.

In GE14, Danyal won with a majority of 17,710 votes, defeating BN candidate Datuk V.S. Mogan and Mahfuz Roslan from Pas.

Source: NST Online

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