KUALA LUMPUR, 3 Oct 2008: The Gerakan Youth chief’s post will witness a three-corner fight, with the movement’s deputy chief Lim Si Pin taking on Kedah Youth chief Tan Keng Liang and Negeri Sembilan Youth chief Chai Tek Loong.
Nominations for the Youth wing, attended by a handful of the candidates’ supporters, at Menara PGRM here closed at noon today.
The Youth chief’s post was left vacant after incumbent Datuk Mah Siew Keong exceeded the age limit of 45 to hold the position.
The Youth wing’s elections on 10 Oct will see an unprecedented number of candidates vying for the various top posts in the last 20 years.
The deputy chief’s post will be a straight fight between its vice-chairman Paul Yong Yoon Kong and Penang Youth chief Oh Yong Keong. Five candidates will vie for the three vice-chairman’s posts while 28 will contest the 18 youth central committee seats.
Speaking to reporters after the nominations, Lim, the son of former Gerakan president Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik, said he was committed to ensuring that Gerakan Youth would be the first youth organisation in the country to attain the ISO 9001 certification.
He also promised, should he win, to introduce the key performance index for the wing to keep track of the effectiveness of its efforts.
Lim, who claimed to have backing from the youth wings of eight states, was also confident that with his 10 years’ of experience in the wing, he would be able to take Gerakan Youth to greater heights.
“I am ready to work with other youth leaders as a team. I have seen them rise over the years and I understand their aspirations for the party and the people,” he said, after unveiling his manifesto, themed “Leadership, Sincerity, Rejuvenation: Creating A New Identity For Gerakan Youth”.
Meanwhile, Chai said his decision to contest the Youth top post was to strengthen and reform the wing after Gerakan’s dismal performance in the general election on 8 March 2008.
However, he claimed that his intention to contest had not gone down well with certain national leaders in the party, with some calling him on the telephone to coax him to “strike a compromise”.
“I’ve received calls (after announcing his intention to contest the post two weeks ago), some were encouraging but there were also some who called and wanted to negotiate.
“They wanted me to compromise but I did not meet them (the callers),” he said, adding that they said they wanted to avoid a split in the youth wing. — Bernama