Gerakan not useless and hopeless, says Koh

Senator Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon has defended Gerakan, saying it was still relevant today despite losing Penang in the 2008 general election. 

Gerakan had contested 12 Penang state seats but failed to capture even one, losing the state to Pakatan Rakyat. The party only managed to retain only two parliament seats, compared to the 10 seats it had held before the election. 

Koh said that the public still see the Gerakan as a party of honourable, honest and humble leaders. 

“We may be down, but definitely not out. Our detractors try to portray Gerakan as being useless and hopeless. If so, why have three independents elected representatives chosen to join us in the past one and a half years, instead of joining other bigger parties? If so, why have 20,000 new members joined us from all states, while another 50,000 are in the pipeline? 

“If not because they appreciate our ideology and ideals, as well as our past record and performances? If not because they see Gerakan leaders as relatively honourable, honest and humble, sincere and serious, clean and efficient, in our services for the people and contribution to nation building,” he said during his presidential speech at the party’s AGM. 

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department added that the public still have confidence in the party due its past achievements. 

“Looking at our past, they have confidence in us for the future, despite our present difficulty and dilemma. So, let us not disappoint them and many of our members and supporters who are still with us. Most importantly, let us stay united to recharge our spirit and energy, renew our commitment and dedication, hold strong to our ideology and vision, with a sense of purpose and mission,” he said. 

The ex-chief minister of Penang pointed out that Gerakan has managed to turn the state into an industrial powerhouse. 

“For 39 years, Gerakan, under Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, then under me, has worked closely with the people to lead Penang from an economic backwater to be a world-renowned ICT industrial centre, a Unesco World Heritage City and a thriving regional hub. 

“The solid foundation laid and the strong momentum generated have and will continue to propel Penang forward in the near future,” he said. 

Koh said Gerakan will continue an active part in promoting Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia. 

“The Prime Minister’s proposal has resonated amongst world leaders. Therefore, Gerakan suggests that the Barisan Nasional should also launch a 1 Malaysia National Movement of Moderates to mobilise and galvanise the pool of goodwill and good sense amongst the vast majority of Malaysians. The BN must lead in forging politics of moderation, and in promoting the moderation of politics in Malaysia. 

“We should do so with a sense of urgency because in recent months, the voices of extremism seem to be on the rise and threatening to take centre stage. These have triggered off adverse reactions, not only in the media and the internet, but also amongst the common people who feel a sense of anxiety and even anger,” he said.