For Koh, time to change from ‘Tai Chi’ to ‘Praying Mantis Kungfu’

By Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR – Gerakan president Dr Koh Tsu Koon has promised to change his laid-back “Tai Chi” leadership style to a more aggressive “Praying Mantis Kungfu”.

“I might have been more of a ‘Tai Chi’ leader because I learnt this martial art since I was nine. But now I have learnt the “Praying Mantis Kungfu” where my younger brother is my coach.

“So now I can be firm when needed because the latter is a more hardened form of kungfu,” he said when winding up debate at Gerakan’s 39th national delegates conference at Wisma PGRM here Sunday.

However, Koh said he would not resort to extreme ways in his leadership of the party as this might be counter-productive.

“Cannot be like Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teik Lee who lost Thursday’s Batu Sapi by-election because of his arrogance. We need to have a balance, knowing when to be firm and when to be a little softer,” he said.

Earlier, the delegates had voiced their undivided support to Koh to continue helming the party.

Debating the presidential address, the delegates were of the view that Gerakan’s leaders should take collective responsibility for the party’s perceived failings.

“Some former leaders (of Gerakan) are trying the pressure the president to step down citing that he is a weak leader. This is not fair. The onus lies on each and every Gerakan leader and member to revive the party to its past glory,” said Tang Hiang Lye, a delegate from Padang Serai, Kedah.

Another delegate, Cheong Chin Liang from Kulai, Johor, said the party needed to undergo a transformation process to meet the challenges ahead in the changed politcial landscape now.

“After taking a beating in the last general election (GE), we must ask ourselves are we fully prepared to face the next one?,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gerakan leaders when met after the conference, were generally of the view that the party needed to undergo a political transformation ahead of the next GE.

Gerakan vice president Senator A. Kohilan Pillay, who is also Deputy Foreign Minister, said members might have been a little down after the last GE in 2008 but now they had rebounded and were willing to do what was needed to revive the party.

Gerakan Wanita Tan Lian Hoe, who is also Deputy Domestic Trade,
Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister, said the conference had set the tone and direction for the party to move forward.

“We (members) must put up a united front and pull out all all the stops to forge ahead,” she said. – Bernama