Koh to stay out of GE-13

By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon announced today he will refrain from contesting in the 13th general election, ending the guessing game over the “ultimate sacrifice” he had promised party delegates last month.

Koh however confirmed that he will continue to hold on to his political posts, including that of Gerakan president, Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) chief and BN national vice-chairman. It was rumoured he would resign as Penang BN chief today and appoint a successor to the throne.

In explaining his “ultimate sacrifice”, Koh said he meant that he would continue devoting his time and energy to campaign for his party’s candidates in the coming polls.

“When I talk about sacrifice, I am talking about time and energy for the party,” he said.

“I want to campaign for our candidates to win, instead of focusing on winning a seat just for myself.”

Koh added today’s announcement was based on a “personal decision” and had received the blessings of the party’s central leadership, insisting that he was not succumbing to any political pressure.

“No, I am not under any pressure and I will resist any pressure. It is undue and unfounded,” he said, adding that he had informed Datuk Seri Najib Razak of his decision and the prime minister had accepted it.

On his political posts, Koh said he would only decide if he would resign as party president after the 13th general election. He added that by virtue of being party president, he would continue to hold on to the post of BN national vice-chairman.

He also explained that under Article 23.2(A) of BN’s constitution, the post of Penang BN chief was by appointment of the BN supreme council chairman (Najib), in consultation with the supreme council.

“Better to follow procedure,” he said.

Koh added that his fate as a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department lies in Najib’s hands, but stressed that he would not cling to the post for personal interest.

He said his decision today is the first step in the party’s renewal and transformation agenda titled “Gerak Bersama Rakyat” (move with the people) aimed at readying Gerakan for the coming polls.