Gerakan: Mah Siew Keong is the new party president

Datuk Mah Siew Keong

Datuk Mah Siew Keong

KUALA LUMPUR: Gerakan named former secretary-general Datuk Mah Siew Keong, 52, as the National Party President this Saturday.

With a total of 1,086 votes, Mah beat Penang Gerakan chairman Teng Chang Yeow, 49, in a straight fight.

Teng received only 577 votes.

The post was vacated after acting president Datuk Chang Ko Youn, who led the party since last May, declined to defend his post to make way for younger leaders.

Mah was formerly the MP for Teluk Intan (1999-2008) and held a deputy ministerial post along with his position as the former  Gerakan Youth chief (2002-2008).

He assumed responsibility as acting secretary-general on May 11 following Teng's resignation as the party secretary-general and Barisan Nasional (Penang chairman.

The post of deputy president went to Kedah chairman, Dr Cheah Soon Hai who, with 1,113 votes, defeated his Kuala Lumpur counterpart Ma Woei Chyi, who received 545 votes .

The three vice presidential posts were won by Asharuddin Ahmad, A. Kohilan Pillay and Teo Eng Tee.

Meanwhile, 39 candidates vied for the 18 Central Committee positions at their party's 42nd National Delegates Conference.

A total of 1,640 delegates were seen attending the conference which was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The results announcement was made by Tan Sri Dr Chin Fook Weng.

At the official announcement later, Mah said he had several plans to bring back the party's glory days.

"The responsibility of a president is not easy and I understand there are a lot of challenges, however I believe that all the members in the party will come together in bringing the party to a better position.

"Even Teng Chang Yeow, who contested against me, will be given a position as a central committee member," he said, adding that the party will stand by their promises.

Mah said the party needed to engage the people better and make the party more relevant.

"We will also look into bringing in more involvement from younger members in the party," he said when met after the official announcement.

Dr Cheah also said the participation of younger members would widen the party's perspective.

"We are also looking to provide training for younger members in the party so that they will be able to convey our intentions and messages to the public," he said.

He added that the party would also work towards regaining the confidence of fellow members and the public.

Politics , Gerakan , Mah Siew Keong , Gerakan Polls