Internal politics has forced Dr Thor to resign all posts in Gerakan

 |Aug 19, 2016

 

Dr Thor Teong Gee has resigned from all his posts in Gerakan.
Dr Thor Teong Gee has resigned from all his posts in Gerakan.

Gerakan deputy secretary-general Dr Thor Teong Gee has resigned from all his party posts, citing internal squabbles for Sungai Pinang state constituency coordinator post and party candidacy in the general election as main reasons.

Dr Thor, who remains as a Gerakan member, said that he was particularly disappointed and hurt by the recent attacks against him by Penang Gerakan vice-chairman Oh Tong Keong.

“It is best that I resign from all party posts.

“I don’t have interest to be a candidate anymore since I had lost twice already,” said Dr Thor, who joined Gerakan 16 years ago.

He said he would back any party candidate for the Sungai Pinang, and called for a ceasefire over media attacks on him by party colleagues.

Formerly Penang Island Municipal councillor, Dr Thor had previously contested for the Jelutong parliamentary seat in 2008 and for the Sungai Pinang state seat in 2013, but lost both times.

Gerakan has coordinators in 13 state seats and four parliamentary seats in Penang, but the party failed to win any of the seats in the past two general elections.

Penang Gerakan vice-chairman Oh Tong Keong said he was merely echoing grassroots disapproval against Dr Thor.
Penang Gerakan vice-chairman Oh Tong Keong said he was merely echoing grassroots disapproval against Dr Thor.

Oh has denied of launching media attacks on Dr Thor, claiming that he was merely echoing the grassroots sentiments in the party Jelutong division.

Oh said the Sungai Pinang coordinator could not be appointed due to differences in choice of the nominee by the party’s central leadership and the Jelutong Division.

He said while the party top brass chose Dr Thor, the division grassroots wanted their chairman Ng Fook On.

Oh said the grassroots rejected Dr Thor because he was not seen in walkabouts, not participating in any of the local activities, absent in the divisional and state level meetings since the last general election, and not seen to interact with leaders of other BN component parties.

“Also he did not attend the meeting for the selection of candidates for the post of constituency coordinators,” said Oh.

Being a total absentee in the various levels of meetings in Penang, Oh said Dr Thor seemed to have no grip of the prevailing sentiments and aspirations of the grassroots of Penang Gerakan.

When the Penang government proposed for snap polls, Parti Gerakan was in a dilemma to decide on the nomination of the candidates for three constituencies – the Jelutong parliamentary constituency and two of its  three state constituencies, Sungai Pinang and Batu Lanchang.

“But Dr Thor did not even bother to attend the meeting for the selection of suitable candidates,” charged Oh.

Gerakan Jelutong division grassroots want their chairman Ng Fook On, not Dr Thor Teong Gee, as Sungai Pinang coordinator and election candidate.
Gerakan Jelutong division grassroots want their chairman Ng Fook On, not Dr Thor Teong Gee, as Sungai Pinang coordinator and election candidate.

He hopes that the central leadership would heed the voices and opinions of the division, and reciprocally the division would respect the decision of the central leadership.

If the central leadership still deemed Dr Thor as the best and most suitable candidate for Sungai Pinang and insisted on fielding him, Oh said the grassroots and the division would render their support to him.

“However, the grassroots hope the central leadership would heed and respect their voices and wishes,” said Oh.

“As Penang is the forefront battle field for Parti Gerakan, it is vital that this outstanding issue has to be finalised quickly for the party to fully gear up its general elections machinery for the coming uphill battle.”

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Athi Shankar has been a journalist for past 30 years. He believes that democratic rights come with responsibility.