PPP we would like to take Taiping back – Gerakan President

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KUALA LUMPUR: Gerakan has set its sights on regaining more seats in the 13th general elections after its dismal performance in 2008. The party also wants to re-contest the Taiping parliamentary seat which was contested twice by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

Speaking before the party’s Life Member Council (LMC) delegates here today, party president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon urged the party’s election machinery to defend incumbents seats at all costs, while making inroads to wrest additional seats.

While admitting it would be a tough job, Koh, who chaired the LMC conference, following the absence of chairman Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik, who was stricken with pneumonia, believed the goal could be achieved.

“Although we have almost 28,000 new members joining our party, that is not a guarantee (for success), but it is important for us to move forward beyond 2+8 (seats),” he said.

Since it was important for Gerakan to win more seats for the party’s survival, Koh hoped the delegates attending the national delegates conference (NDC), which begins today, would come up with a winning formula.

“We have to work on it, so we must aim to win more than two (parliamentary seats)…. we have to set a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) after this conference (on how many seats to win),” he said.

Gerakan fared poorly in the 2008, losing every seat in its home ground Penang, and winning only two parliamentary seats, Simpang Renggam and Grik, and four state seats.

Koh also told the conference that Gerakan would like to re-contest in Taiping.

“We, Gerakan, are a very generous one, you know, we accomodated our friend from PPP to be in Taiping, twice, but this time, we would like to take Taiping back,” he said.

Vice-president Mah Siew Keong reminded members that politics was a numbers game.
Speaking before Gerakan Youth members when launching the wing’s conference, he said members needed to realise there was not much space for them to voice their expression after they lost many seats in 2008.

“We have to come back to basic realities. In the last round we won two parliamentary seats out of 12 contested.Politics is a numbers game and let’s not bluff ourselves, if we got very few people left (remaining), we cannot talk too much,” he said.

Mah stressed that the next elections would be decisive for Gerakan’s future, whether it was still relevant to the people or otherwise.

“It is not going to be easy. What will happen to Gerakan if we are contesting 12 seats and we only win one or no seat at all…we know that the opposition wants us dead, especially in Penang.

“So the next general election will determine the future of our party,” he said. — Bernama