Mah quits as Ger­akan chief cit­ing poor GE14 per­for­mance

The Star Malaysia - - Nation -

SEREMBAN: Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong (pic) has re­signed as Ger­akan pres­i­dent, at­tribut­ing his move to the party’s poor per­for­mance in the May 9 gen­eral elec­tion (GE14).

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

“Many party mem­bers want me to re­main as pres­i­dent. But as a cap­tain,

I made a promise to re­sign if the party per­formed badly.

“I want to thank all (party mem­bers) and I would like to an­nounce that I will not con­tinue serv­ing as party pres­i­dent,” he told re­porters af­ter open­ing the Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan Ger­akan 43rd del­e­gates con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

It was his last programme as Ger­akan pres­i­dent. “We will have a new leader.

“Many have said that it wasn’t my fault but as pres­i­dent, I must take re­spon­si­bil­ity,” Mah was quoted as say­ing by Ber­nama.

He said the party would emerge with a com­bi­na­tion of new and old lead­ers.

Mah also an­nounced the re­struc­tur­ing of the party by giv­ing the man­date to the grass­roots to choose their lead­ers at the na­tional, divi­sion and branch lev­els.

“We do not want only 1,000 mem­bers to choose the lead­er­ship but we want all 300,000 mem­bers to be able to do that,” he said, adding that the party now had 150 di­vi­sions and 1,080 branches na­tion­wide.

Mah de­nied talk that many mem­bers had left the party since GE14.

“We have 300,000 mem­bers and those who leave the party are not many. The party sec­re­tary-gen­eral (Datuk Liang Teck Meng) told me that more peo­ple had been join­ing the party,” he said.

In Ipoh, IVAN LOH re­ports Perak Ger­akan chair­man Soo Kay Peng as say­ing that Mah’s de­ci­sion showed he is a man of in­tegrity.

Soo said Mah was an honourable man who was mak­ing good on his prom­ises made be­fore the gen­eral elec­tion.

“It’s all about po­lit­i­cal in­tegrity, which is con­sid­ered rare in the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal land­scape.

“Some peo­ple think we are too se­ri­ous, but it’s about our core and ba­sic prin­ci­ples not to go back on our words,” he said.

“We don’t want to be say­ing one thing, then make a U-turn and do an­other. It’s the right thing to do. Let us ac­cept and re­spect it.”

Soo said a lot of cen­tral com­mit­tee mem­bers, him­self in­cluded, had at­tempted to change Mah’s mind.

“We asked him to re­think be­cause he is a good leader. He told us he is com­mit­ted to his prom­ises,” he said.

Soo also said he would not be seek­ing re-elec­tion dur­ing its party elec­tion, with the State Del­e­gates Con­fer­ence hav­ing started now un­til Oct 14.

“My term will end on Oct 7,” he said. “Mah and I are still with the party and we will be around if new lead­ers need ad­vice.”

Ger­akan be­came an in­de­pen­dent party af­ter leav­ing Barisan Na­sional on June 23.

Reg­is­ter events@thes­tar.com.my

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