Mah quits as Gerakan chief citing poor GE14 performance
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.