Sunday, August 28, 2005

A Glimpse at the Gerakan Party Election Result

The surprising thing about the Gerakan Party's election was not Dr Lim KY's victory (that was a given) but that Kerk could even obtain 40% of the votes. Allowing for a core of pro-Kerk voting, this respectful margin could be due to either sympathy votes for Kerk because of the way he was ousted in a palace coup that saw Koh TK, CM of Penang being 'pushed' up into the No 2 spot, or because of anti-Lim KY votes.

The latter means that those voters do not necessarily voted for Kerk to be president but was not against him either - they just wanted Dr Lim to have either a fright or a loss.

But regardless, Kerk obtained 40%, which is a very healthy margin because he lost only by 10% - no, not 20%, that's not the way they count for a fixed number of party delegates. Another 10% would have seen Kerk with 50% in a stalemate with Dr Lim KY. Unfortunately for Kerk, the disowning of him by the Chinese educationists just on the eve of the party election affected his prospect dramatically and adversely.

Subramaniam of the MIC should take note that Kerk, having know he had to go, went but with a big bang and much dignity.

I am interested to see how the Gerakan Party handles reconciliation after all the blood-letting the past week. All of Kerk's supporters lost. There's real bad blood in the Gerakan's triangular struggle. Though the margin of the result shows a semblance of democratic practice, if the reconciliation is not managed well, the Gerakan will lose out in the long term as disenchanted and marginalised members (of Kerk's camp) leave the party to the benefit of the MCA, or if they want to go over to the opposition, the DAP or even PKR.

Why did I state that "the margin of the result shows a semblance of democratic practice"?

Well, there were suggestions of party rigging with the disproportionate representation by Kelantan State - no one believes that, given the demographic makeup of Kelantan, the number of delegates from that State could even be significantly near Penang State.

Then, the initial refusal by the Party election committee (controlled by Dr Lim KY) to disclose the list of delegates to Kerk's group smelled too strongly of dirty tricks. After much protests, the list was made available BUT for just 10 minutes. That was disgraceful. Compare that with the MCA pre-election conduct where the delegates list was published on its website. One must question this dodgy procedure and ask what's the REAL reason for the deliberate withholding of the list from Kerk's group.

But the person who gains most must be Dr Koh KT, UMNO's favourite boy.

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