Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia

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Malaysian People's Movement Party
Leader Mah Siew Keong
Founded 24 March 1968
Headquarters Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ideology Centrism, Liberalism
National affiliation National Front
International affiliation Alliance of Democrats,
Liberal International (observer)[1]
Regional affiliation Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats
Parliament:
2 / 222
State Assemblies:
3 / 576
Website
www.gerakan.org.my
Politics of Malaysia
Political parties
Elections

The Malaysian People's Movement Party (Malay: Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, commonly abbreviated as Gerakan) is a political party in Malaysia. The party was founded on 24 March 1968, and as of 2008, it is part of the ruling National Front coalition.

During its formation, Gerakan was an opposition party not affiliated with the national ruling coalition, the Alliance Party, the predecessor of the National Front. Following the 1969 general election, Gerakan won most of the seats in the state legislature of Penang. Gerakan and the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, which won in Kelantan, were the only parties not then affiliated with the Alliance Party to form a state government in Malaysia. However, in 1973, Gerakan together with the Alliance Party formed a coalition called the National Front, where it remains until today.

The former leader of Gerakan is Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon who won the post of President uncontested in the 2008 party elections.

As of 2006, about 80% of Gerakan's members are ethnic Chinese, another 15% are Indian, and the rest are Malays or other races.[2]

The party suffered its worst electoral defeat in the 2008 General Election, which saw the party retaining only two parliament seats, compared to the 10 seats it had before the election. As a result, the party lost its only cabinet post in the ensuing cabinet shuffle. In addition, Gerakan also lost power in Penang after governing the state for almost 39 years.

The party is assisted by an affiliated think tank called SEDAR Institute (Socio-Economic Development And Research Institute).

The party is a member of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats.

Party leadership elections[edit]

On 27 August 2005, The party held its party election which saw the President position held by Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik being challenged by its Deputy, Kerk Choo Ting. Tun Dr Lim retained his party President post after winning with 983 votes against 628 votes obtained by Kerk. Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon is the new Deputy President which he won unopposed after the nomination day for the party election.

Rejuvenation campaign[edit]

On 25 May 2008, after the dismal performance in the 12th general election, Gerakan launched a party rejuvenation campaign in its bid to rebound in mainstream politics and to regain people’s confidence. It has outlined three thrusts, namely to voice Gerakan’s ideology, policy position and advocate Malaysian solutions for various major issues, to rebuild, rebrand and re-empower the party at all levels, and to regain people’s confidence.

With the slogan, “Forward Together with One Heart” (Satu Hati Gerak Bersama), the campaign was mooted after a nationwide brainstorming and discussions with grassroot leaders, following its dismal performance in the March 8 general election.

The campaign will focus on eight strategies, namely:

1) To formulate and voice principled policy positions and solutions for major national issues;

2) To be constructive opposition in Pakatan Rakyat-led states;

3) To pursue reforms of the National Front as an effective multi-racial coalition;

4) To effectively rebuild and revitalise the party, to forge smart partnership with society and NGOs;

5) To embark on membership expansion and consolidation;

6) To boost and train more leaders;

7) To re-energise and revamp the party at all levels;

8) To further improve communication and public relations strategies.

Party acting president Koh Tsu Koon said the party would be more proactive and vocal in raising issues concerning people of all races. He said Gerakan would also conduct more activities and gain a stronger foothold in states which it previously had low-key presence, like Perlis and Sabah.

Gerakan to take on a new image[edit]

Gerakan, which suffered major losses during the 12th general election, has launched a rebranding exercise in the hope of making it the party of choice for all Malaysians.

Acting president Tan Sri, who launched the exercise during the party's 40th anniversary celebrations, said the rebranding would be based on three focal points, which are:

  • Voicing the party's ideology of advocating a Malaysian solution for issues;
  • To rebuild, rebrand and re-empower the party at all levels to effectively serve and represent all Malaysians; and
  • To win the people's hearts and mind to regain their support.

Koh said the party members have to consolidate, evaluate, motivate and rejuvenate the party in order to achieve the missions. He said the party would execute the plan via eight strategies. They include broad plans to expand and consolidate membership while rebuilding the party in Penang.

Milestone[edit]

End of March 2008, deputy secretary-general of Gerakan Datuk Lee Kah Choon had announced his resignation from all Gerakan posts, including as the deputy secretary-general and a member of the party’s two decision-making bodies, the Central Committee (CC) and the Central Working Committee (CWC), after its poor performance in the 8 March general election. Lee was also one of the speculated candidates to take over post of Chief Minister of the State of Penang before the 12th general election. The other two candidates were Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan and Teng Chang Yeow.

On 23 April 2008, Lee accepted the appointment to posts in two Penang state government agencies as director of Penang Development Corporation PDC and InvestPenang, also executive committee chairman of InvestPenang. Later, Lee quits the party to complete his “total withdrawal” from politics and focusing on serving society as a citizen.

On 12 May 2008, former Gerakan vice-president and Wanita national chairman Datuk Rhina Bhar quit the party after 30 years, citing racial bias in the leadership. Rhina claims that the party is a multiracial party but of late has been making many racist remarks. She hit out at former President Lim Keng Yaik for practicing double standards and Acting President Dr. Koh Tsu Koon for not fielding any Indian candidates in the recent general elections.

On 29 May 2008, The Federal Territory Gerakan chief and former Deputy Land and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong became the second Gerakan leader to take up a post with an Opposition-led state government. Dr Tan was named as co-chairman of Selangor's special task force on land issues. Dr Tan said he joined politics to serve the people and country and the post provides him the chance to continue this work while Gerakan feels he has no value in terms of serving the party and the people.
On 6 September 2008, Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong announced that he had joined Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) of Pakatan Rakyat. Dr Tan said he sent his resignation letter to the Gerakan secretary-general Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye on 5 September 2008. Beforehand, his membership was suspended by Gerakan in May 2008 when he accepted a position in the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat government.

On 18 August 2008, another Gerakan prominent leader, Datuk Dr Toh Kin Woon has quit the party[3] and, by extension, the BN. Dr Toh voiced his support for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in the Permatang Pauh by-election the day before he quit the party. Dr Toh was also the party central committee member and Chairman of Gerakan Economic and Research Bureau before he quits the party. Dr Toh said he will not join any political party at the moment and would focus more on civil society work.

Trivia[edit]

In November 2006, the President of another National Front party, the People's Progressive Party (PPP), M. Kayveas, proposed a merger between Gerakan and the PPP. Koh welcomed the suggestion.[2]

Gerakan members in the 13th Parliament of Malaysia (Dewan Rakyat)[edit]

Gerakan currently has 2 MPs.

List of presidents[edit]

President

No. Name Took office Left office
1 Professor Syed Hussein Alatas 1968 1969
2 Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu 1969 1980
3 Tun Dr. Lim Keng Yaik 1980 8 April 2007
4 Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon 4 October 2008 16 May 2013
5 Dato' Mah Siew Keong 26 October 2013 Incumbent

Acting President

No. Name Took office Left office
1 Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon 8 April 2007 4 October 2008
2 Dato' Chang Ko Youn 16 May 2013 26 October 2013

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Party, Liberal International, www.liberal-international.org. Retrieved on 17 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b Suthakar, K. (20 November 2006). PPP offers Gerakan merger. The Star.
  3. ^ "PERMATANG PAUH BY-ELECTION: Toh quits Gerakan". www.thesundaily.my. Retrieved 19 August 2008. 

Other references[edit]

External links[edit]

Official Site

Gerakan Wanita (Woman) Site