Gerakan to reveal plans today

IPOH: What will Gerakan's next move be in the face of defeat suffered by the party nationwide in the 13th General Election?

The question playing on the minds of all Gerakan members is expected to be answered by Gerakan deputy president Datuk Chang Ko Youn today.

When asked about this by the New Straits Times, here, yesterday, Chang sent a brief text message, saying: "PC tmr at 11am in Ipoh Hq."

The press conference will be held at the party's headquarters, here.

Gerakan suffered its worst defeat in this general election when it only won the Simpang Renggam parliamentary constituency out of 11 parliamentary seats contested.

As for state seats, Gerakan contested 31 seats but won only Pemanis in Johor and Tanjong Papat and Elopura in Sabah.

In the 2008 general election, the party won two out of 12 parliamentary seats and four of 31 state seats contested.

Party president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon did not contest this time around.

The party's other stalwarts who stood as parliamentary candidates, including Chang, vice-president Datuk Mah Siew Keong, Gerakan Women's wing chief Datuk Tan Lian Hoe and secretary-general Teng Chang Yeow, all lost.

In Perak, the party lost three parliamentary constituencies -- Beruas (contested by Chang), Teluk Intan (Mah) and Taiping (Tan) -- and four state seats -- Kuala Sepetang, Aulong, Jalong and Canning.

A senior party leader, who did not want to be named, said the party would need to go back to the drawing board.

"It is disheartening to be rejected this way (by the voters). But we cannot turn around and blame the voters for not wanting us.

"Obviously, bringing in new and dynamic faces this time was not sufficient. More would have to be done to recapture lost ground."

Short of calling for the resignation of top party leaders, the party insider said the present crop of leaders was not seen as politically strong by party members, adding that it would take more than a change of party leaders to rejuvenate the party.





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