SEREMBAN, Sept 16 – Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong today announced his resignation as Gerakan president. Mah said the decision was due to the party’s poor performance during the 14th General Election (GE14), in which it failed to win any seats compared to the one parliamentary seat it won in GE13.
“Many party members want me to remain as president. But as a captain, I made a promise to resign if the party performed badly. I want to thank all (party members) and I would like to announce that I will not continue serving as party president,” he told reporters after opening the Negri Sembilan Gerakan 43rd delegates conference at Wisma Gerakan here.
This is his last programme as Gerakan president. In the GE14, Gerakan lost all 11 parliamentary and 31 state seats it contested. Gerakan became an independent party after leaving Barisan Nasional on June 23.
“We will have a new leader. Many have said that it wasn’t my fault, but as president, I must take responsibility,” Mah said. He said the party would emerge with a combination of new and old leaders. Mah also announced the restructuring of the party by giving the mandate to the grassroots to choose their leaders at the national, division and branch levels.
“We do not want only 1,000 members to choose the leadership but we want all 300,000 members to be able to do that,” he said, adding that the party now has 150 divisions and 1,080 branches nationwide. Mah also denied the allegation that many members had left the party after GE14.
“We have 300,000 members and those who leave the party are not many. The party secretary-general (Datuk Liang Teck Meng) told me that more people had been joining the party,” he added. Asked on the party’s stance over the Port Dickson parliamentary by-election, Mah said it would be decided later. — Bernama