Mah is Gerakan new party president

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26: Gerakan has officially announced Datuk Mah Siew Keong as the new party president at the partys 42nd National Delegates Conference 2013, Saturday.

Official results showed that 73 per cent of the 2,298 delegates voted Mah in as president in the Gerakan party election today.

The deputy post was retained by Cheah Soon Hai. The three vice-president posts were won by Asharuddin Ahmad, A. Kohilan Pillai and Teo Eng Twe.

Gerakan acting secretary-general Mah went up against the partys Penang chairman Datuk Teng Chang Yeow in a straight fight for the president post.

The post was vacated after acting president Datuk Chang Ko Youn, who had led the party since last May, declined to defend his post to pave the way for younger leaders to helm the party.

Mah is 52 years old while Teng is 49.  He was a former MP of Teluk Intan (1999-2008), a former deputy minister and former Gerakan Youth chief (2002-2008).

He assumed responsibility as party acting secretary-general on May 11 following Tengs resignation as the party secretary-general and Barisan Nasional (BN) Penang chairman.

At the press conference, Datuk Chang Ko Youn said Gerakan would be recommending Liang Teck Meng, the only parliamentary survivor during the 13th general election earlier this year, to a government post.

He declined to say whether it would be a Cabinet post or otherwise.

Liang defended the Simpang Renggam parliamentary seat in Johor by defeating PAS candidate Suhaizan Kaiat with a 5,706-vote majority.

Meanwhile, 39 candidates vied for the 18 Central Committee positions.  A total of 2,298 national delegates voted in this years party elections.

Earlier, Mah has vowed to fight to give the party a bigger voice in Barisan Nasional (BN) and in mainstream politics.

He said the party, which was established in 1969, had got a good future and he wanted it to have a bigger role in national politics.

We are part of BN, and along the way, I think we need to go back to basics to see our history and struggle. We hope to review our role in BN and to have a bigger role, he told reporters.

As part of his manifesto, Mah said, he would suggest to limit the president post to a maximum of two terms (six years) in view of the rapid changes in the world today.

He felt that two terms would be enough for a president to execute his plans and goals for the party.

I am personally in favour of two terms as maximum for the party president post, but the idea will still have to be endorsed by the delegates. The situation now is different and everything changes so fast, he added.





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