Tribulation & Triumph

In the 1990 and 1993 Party elections, the party underwent relatively calm annual Delegates Conferences. There were no contests for the top seven posts of National President, Deputy President, three Vice Presidents, Secretary-General and Treasurer-General.

 

 

However, the tame Party elections in 1990 did not reflect the turbulent General Election faced by Gerakan and other component parties of Barisan Nasional on 21st October 1990. Faced by the combined force of Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah (APU) and Gagasan Rakyat presenting their strategy of a two-party system, some Barisan Nasional component parties like Gerakan and MCA suffered defeats in the hands of DAP. At the Parliamentary level, the party won 5 out of the 9 seats contested while at the state level, the party only managed to win 11 out of the 23 seats contested.

 

 

In Penang, the party only managed to win 7 out of the 11 seats contested. The shock defeat was at Padang Kota, where the Chief Minister of Penang, Dr. Lim Chong Eu was defeated by Lim Kit Siang of DAP. However, our party still managed to secure the post of Chief Minister and Dr. Koh Tsu Koon was appointed the new Chief Minister of Penang.

 

 

After the setback in 1990, the party embarked on a programme to win back the support of the people while grooming young leaders to shoulder more responsibilities. This was assisted by the political stability, unity and economic growth that prevailed during the post 1990 period. As a result of the peoples consultations through The National Economic Consultative Council in which the party participated actively, the Prime Minister, Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed launched the Vision 2020 in 28th February 1991.

 

Vision 2020, which aims to develop Malaysia into an advanced industrial nation by the year 2020 was well accepted by all Malaysians. At the same time, the New Economic Policy was replaced by a National Development Policy which aims to bring greater equality to all Malaysians regardless of race or religion. For the firsttime, the concept of Bangsa Malaysia was promulgated. At the same time, thepolicies on education, economy, culture and language were further liberalised.The liberal and far-sighted policies of the Barisan Nasional government preparedthe groundwork for the General Election in 1995.

 

 

Boosted by the success of the Malaysian economy where a growth rate of more than 8 percent was sustained for 7 years, the Barisan Nasional government won a landslide victory on 25th April 1995. The Barisan Nasional won 162 out of the total of 192 parliamentary seats. Our party secured victories in 7 out of the 10 seats at the parliamentary elections. At the state level, our party achieved an even more impressive victory. Of all the 27 state seats allocated to Gerakan in the 1995 General Election, the party won 23 seats.

 

 

In Penang, the party won 10 out of the 11 state seats contested. Party Vice President Dr. Koh Tsu Koon was reappointed as the Chief Minister of Penang. At the end of 1995, the party also underwent a reorganization exercise. The party was further expanded to cater for the growth in membership. Instead of having only one branch for each state constituency, the constitution was amended to allow a maximum of 12 branches per division. Thus the number of branches was increased from 300 to 1,084 in 1996.

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