Press Statement by Dato’ Mah Siew Keong on Gerakan’s Acting President’s Announcement on his decision to not contest the Presidency Mah: I will consult before I make a formal announcement on my political future

In view of the announcement yesterday by Gerakan’s Acting President, Dato’ Chang Ko Youn on his decision not to contest the presidency of the party, I have received many phone calls and text messages enquiring about my future political plans. I sincerely would like to thank everyone for their concern. Before I make any decision, I will consult Dato’ Chang, Immediate Past President Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, state and grassroots leaders as well. My decision will be anchored on what is best for the party and in the interest of party unity.

With a heavy heart, I respect Dato’ Chang’s decision not to contest for president post. In a lengthy conversation after the announcement, Dato' Chang has advised me on the reasons for his decision. He has served the party indefatigably, with honour and distinction as Youth chief, deputy president and acting president. He has also served Malaysians as an State Assemblyman and EXCO Member in Perak. Despite his decision not to contest, he has nevertheless agreed to continue assisting the advising the party in other capacity and I wish to thank him for his sacrifices to the party. Dato' Chang has also steered the party through choppy waters post-13th General Election and collectively Gerakan owes him a debt of gratitude.

Personally, I have been engaging individual states in dialogues and in the next two (2) days I will meet Gerakan members from three (3) states. I will make a formal announcement on Friday, 18th October 2013. I want to ensure maximum consultation before I make my announcement.

However, what I find disheartening is that certain quarters within the party have resorted to negative tactics and there have been attempts of character assassination on me and a few other leaders; this is especially rampant via Facebook. I urge all Gerakan members to hold true to the ideals of the party and not resort to using social media to attack or discredit the party leaders.

My 15 years of working under Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik has taught me to be patient and I will hit back at the critics and explain my vision and aspirations for the party to the delegates at the right time.

After 2 defeats in the 12th and 13th General Elections, Gerakan can ill-afford any nasty contest as our main priority is to strengthen the party and not eliminate one another. In the spirit of democracy, let this be a battle of ideas and thinking and not one about gutter politics and personal attacks. We do not want to be like certain component parties where the infighting is shameful.

If it is fated that the top posts in Gerakan is subject to a contest my plea to all those contesting is to ensure that it is done in a collegial, friendly and gentlemanly way.
Thank You.




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