Under the capable and dynamic leadership of Party President Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, the party achieved another milestone when our new 22-storey party headquarters (Menara PGRM) at Cheras, Kuala Lumpur was officially opened by Party President on 25th May 1996.
On 1st March 1998, Gerakan commemorated its 30th anniversary with a simple slogan: “One Heart, One Nation, One Vision!” (Satu Hati, Satu Negara, Satu Wawasan!) which called on all Malaysians to work together to get the nation back on track towards Vision 2020.
On 8th January 1999, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was appointed the new Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, replacing Anwar Ibrahim, who was sacked. In Penang, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon overcame the challenge by Dr. Goh Cheng Teik and retained his position as Penang Gerakan State Liaison Committee Chairman in the Penang State Delegates’ Conference on 8th May 1999.
1999 saw the staging of Malaysia’s last General Election in the 20th Century on 28th November. This time Barisan Nasionalfaced an “Alternative Front” (“BarisanAlternatif” formed by PAS, DAP andKeadilan, a new party headed by formerDeputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim’swife) under conditions which many“experts” proclaimed to be “unfavourable”.Nevertheless, Barisan Nasional showedits mettle by retaining two thirds majorityin parliament, securing even moreparliamentary seats than in 1995.
In Penang, Gerakan led its’ way with 10 of its candidates winning state seats. The party also secured 12 state seats in other states and seven parliamentary seats. The victories of Chia Kwang Chye and Lee Kah Choon over DAP strongmen Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh in parliamentary contests in Penang were particularly significant, as was Dr. Teng Hock Nan’s triumph over Lim Kit Siang in the fight for the Kebun Bunga state seat.
Notwithstanding these achievements, Gerakan’s glory was marred by the dramatic resignations of Lim Boo Chang and Lim Chien Aun three days after they had won Penang state seats on the party’s tickets. The “two Lims” saga took a new twist when they were welcomed in by MCA before the Penang State Government could be formed. Nevertheless, with the support of the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the party and the people, Dr. Koh was reappointed as Penang Chief Minister for the third term.
Meanwhile, Party President Dr. Lim Keng Yaik was reappointed the Minister of Primary Industries for the fourth term, while Deputy President Kerk Choo Ting was reappointed as Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry. Vice President Dr. Tan Kee Kwong was appointed as Deputy Minister of Land and Cooperative Development while Secretary General Chia Kwang Chye was appointed the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, Communications and Multimedia.
In Penang, Kee Phaik Cheen, Dr. Toh Kin Woon and Dr. Teng Hock Nan were appointed as State Executive Councillors. Other Gerakan leaders who were appointed as Exco members in other states were Chang Ko Youn (Perak), Fong Chok Jin (Kedah), Lum Weng Keong (Selangor) and Woo Siak Chee (Negeri Sembilan).