In an unexpected move, Gerakan secretary-general Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye said today that he will not contest any position in the party elections on Oct 11.
“I will finish my duty as party secretary-general, chairman of the National Delegates Conference as well as the Election Steering Committee chairman on Oct 12, the last day of the National Delegates Conference,” he said here today.
Thanking the party members for giving their full support, Chia said he decided to announce his decision today to avoid any further speculation that he is preparing to challenge Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon for the presidency and other leaders for the party’s deputy president’s post.
“I will explain my decision in detail directly to the delegates during the NDC,” he added.
Asked whether he is planning for retirement, Chia said: “I will continue to serve the party and contribute towards political development in the country”. On whether his decision not to contest was related to the outcome of the Penang Gerakan elections, Chia who is former deputy information minister, said it was not.
At the elections on Sept 21, Chia was defeated by the party vice-president, Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nam, for the state chairman’s post, garnering 156 votes compared to Dr Teng who polled 166 votes while another candidate, Bukit Gelugor division chairman Cheang Chee Gooi, only managed to secure 21 votes.
For the past few weeks, there has been intense speculation, especially among the vernicular newspapers that Chia is preparing to contest either the presidency or deputy presidency. — BERNAMA