THE six states election had just ended yesterday (Aug 12). Penang once again will be governed by DAP and its allies. But poor Gerakan – once a mighty political party well-loved by Penangites – was totally wiped out in all its 19 contested seats across the Penang island and mainland.
The party also suffered total defeat in Negri Sembilan with the exception of a consolation seat won in Kedah (the Kulim state constituency).
It goes to show that the party is no longer relevant in today’s political landscape. Gerakan used to be highly respected and at its height under the late Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu’s leadership.
With his far-sightedness vision, Dr Lim has transformed Penang into an industrialised state and for it to deserve the “Pearl of the Orient” title.
But when its successor, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon took over, disaster was felt. A red alert that Gerakan was at the end of its era.
True enough, Koh was despised by Penangites. He was given all kinds of nicknames, much to the chagrin of his supporters. He couldn’t live up to the expectations of Penangites and only lived in the shadow of Chong Eu.
And in 2008, history was made. DAP finally trounced Gerakan and since then, the support to DAP by Penangites has never ceased.
No matter what Gerakan did to revive itself – from bringing in younger leaders, re-branding its image to creating social awareness and activities – Gerakan has still failed to regain its footing in the state.
With the humiliating defeat of its president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau Hoe Chai and the party in yesterday’s (Aug 12) six state polls, Gerakan is now like a toothless tiger – or more like a cub.
The party has done some soul searching over the years and yet still being unable to find a winning formula to secure a place in the heart of Penangites.
So, what’s next? Perhaps, Gerakan should consider winding up for good. A new logo, a new name and a new leader won’t help because we are now in 2023 – not 1983.
In short, Gerakan is past tense. – Aug 13, 2023
Francis Yip is an award-winning writer and HRDF (Human Resource Development Fund)-accredited trainer. He is also the CEO of Franciswriter Dot Com and guest lecturer at The One Academy.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.