PUTRAJAYA, Mar 20 – Gerakan is finalising the negotiation to swap five parliamentary and state seats with component party MCA, ahead of the looming 14th General Election (GE14). Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said the move was necessary to ensure that Barisan Nasional (BN) wins with a bigger majority.
“If we feel that by swapping seats can help either party to win, then we will do it. We have negotiated. Some have reached conclusion, some still outstanding,” he said in an interview with Bernama and New Straits Times at his office here.
He declined to provide details of the seats and breakdown but it is understood that the seats involved are in Penang, Pahang, Perak and Kuala Lumpur. Mah added that the move was also part of the partnership that the party forged with MCA in Jan, where both parties had pledged to enhance cooperation in facing GE14.
“In 2013, both Gerakan and MCA had not done well. We did not deny there were some problem and unhappiness with each other then. But we should cooperate closer more than ever now, in this time,” he said.
Gerakan will contest a total of 12 parliamentary and 33 state seats this time compared to 11 and 31 respectively, in the last general election. Meanwhile, Mah who is also Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister said he would defend the Teluk Intan parliamentary seat despite mounting challenges and threats from the DAP.
“I will stay back in Teluk Intan. I have stood in Teluk Intan when I started my political career. So, I don’t believe in running here and there. After I lost, I stayed back,” he said. He first contested in Teluk Intan parliamentary constituency in 1999. He retained the seat in 2004 before conceding to DAP in 2008 and 2013.
In GE13, Gerakan only won one parliamentary seat – Simpang Renggam in Johor, and two state seats in Sabah. Mah contributed another parliamentary seat (Teluk Intan) to the party via a by-election in 2014. In the by-election held following the death of incumbent Seah Leong Peng, Mah managed to wrest the seat back from DAP in a tight fight. He scraped through by a slim majority of 238. — Bernama