Gerakan’s focus on Teluk Intan


(NST) – Gerakan will focus all its efforts on wresting the Teluk Intan parliamentary seat from DAP, said party president Datuk Mah Siew Keong yesterday.

Mah, who was Teluk Intan member of parliament from 1999 to 2008, said the party was preparing for the upcoming by-election.

When asked about Gerakan’s strategy to win back the seat, Mah said it all boiled down to hard work.

“We have to turun padang and work hard to win the hearts and minds of the constituents there. We also need to cooperate closely with our Barisan Nasional partners.”

He also said the party’s election campaign would focus on countering DAP’s recent attempts to distort facts regarding issues of national importance.

Mah, who was elected as party president at the Gerakan National Delegates Conference in October last year, had re-contested the seat in last year’s general election but lost to DAP’s Seah Leong Peng.

Mah obtained 20,068 votes against Seah’s 27,399 votes.

The by-election was called following Seah’s death on May 1 due to illness.

According to a source close to the Gerakan leadership, Mah is tipped to be named BN’s candidate for the Teluk Intan by-election.

Mah, however, did not deny nor confirm the claim, saying he did not want to be drawn into speculation.

Last year, Mah had made it clear that he would no longer contest the Teluk Intan parliamentary seat in the future, saying he wanted to focus on rebuilding Gerakan following the party’s series of electoral defeats in 2008 and 2013.

The source, however, added that the Gerakan central committee and party veterans were “persuading” Mah to rethink his decision.

Last week, Gerakan adviser Datuk Chang Ko Youn said Mah was the best candidate to contest the Teluk Intan parliamentary seat.

“He is young, energetic and more importantly a local boy. He will be the most suitable candidate to represent Gerakan and BN in the coming Teluk Intanby- election.

“Mah has the track record, good personality and reputable family background.

“He served well when he was the MP for Teluk Intan and continues to serve even though he is no longer the MP there,” Chang was quoted as saying.

The Teluk Intan constituency has 60,483 voters, comprising 42 per cent Chinese, 38 per cent Malays, and 19 per cent Indians.