Mah: 1M'sia needs 'tongkat ali'-like boost - Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia

Mah: 1M'sia needs 'tongkat ali'-like boost

The 1Malaysia campaign, which appears to have run out of steam since the last general election, should be given an urgent boost, says Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong.  

Choosing a suggestive analogy to drive home the point, the minister said 1Malaysia needed a lift similar to the aphrodisiac root “tongkat ali” (eurycoma longifolia) so that the campaign could be "long lasting".
"This is very frank. The rime minister (Najib Abdul Razak) started 1Malaysia, and we thought that it was moving strongly from 2012 to 2013.

"But after the general election in 2013, 1Malaysia seems to have slowed down a bit," Mah said when officiating the Gerakan's Life Members' Council 2014.

"We want 1Malaysia to be strong, we want a 1Malaysia that ‘tahan lama’ (is long lasting). If necessary, use tongkat ali, (so it will) be strong," he added.
Mah said this on a 34-minute speech, mostly addressing party matters.

The party is holding its annual general meeting (AGM) from Oct 17 to 19 at Setia Alam, with the prime minister officiating on Sunday.

The theme of the congress this year is 'Stand Up for 1Malaysia'.

According to Mah, Gerakan will debate motions to amend the party constitution by restrict its president and state chairmans' tenure to three terms.

It also seeks to amend the constitution to allow female members below 35-year-old into the youth wing.

Start early on GE14

Mah also suggested the party decide its 43 candidates in parliamentary and state seats next year so they can start work in their respective constituency as early as possible.

"Some said this may lead to party's break apart, but I felt that an early in-fighting is better than it break out before the national poll," he said.

Mah said the party's strength is determined by the seats it wins.

He noted that the party once won more than 10 parliamentary and  30 state seats, but this has dropped steeply to only one parliamentary and three state seats.

He said the party must have strong candidates, party organisation and unity to make a comeback in the next general election.

Mah also called on party leaders to stay away from religious and ethnic controversies, as such issues are already protected under Federal Constitution.

"To me, whether hudud, Chinese and Tamil schools...this are all (addressed) in the constitution," he said.

He was referring to the Bill to allow the hudud mooted by PAS, and the proposal to disuss the abolition of Chinese vernacular education in the Umno AGM.

"There's no need to feel threatened by a few fellows who want to get into the newpapers by making silly remarks, and we all get so worked up," he said, holding up a copy of Federal Constitution.

"I think the Gerakan secretary-general is doing a (electronic) application on constitution, so we will not be threaten us by all this remarks and make an issue out of it," he said calling on all to understand the constitution more.

Moratorium on politicking

Mah said that Malaysia is different from other countries where politicking only happens during election campaigns.

As such, he proposed a three-year moratorium on politicking to allow the government and political parties to focus on more substantive issues.
"Malaysia faced a lot of issues - crime, economy, education, red IC and corruption. I think we should focus on (solving) the issues, instead of politicking on every issue in daily basis.

"One year before the election, we fight, and immediately after the election we fight a little bit. In between, the three years, we should all take a moratorium or ceasefire," he suggested.

He said that heavy politicking meant that everything must be "black or white" and this stops people from learning to compromise.

"Gerakan has to play this role, we in Gerakan want to be part of the solution and not part of those creating the problem and part of the noise," he concluded.




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