On the eve of March 8 2008 general election, Party Gerakan Rakyat was in festive mood. They had many reasons to do so. Dr. Koh Tsu Koon was expected to be appointed a minister after the general election to replace Lim Keng Yik who was retiring. Party officials in Penang was jostling to fill the seat vacated by him and the loot of Exco seats. Every thing seemed good.
On March 8 2008, the political tsunami has changed the landscape of the country beyond recognition. Overnight, Gerakan was uprooted.... finished...almost!
Koh Tsu Koon's ministerial dream shattered. The party lost the Penang state and the chief ministership which Koh has been holding for the past 18 years. Gerakan party is in tatter.
Koh Tsu Koon accepted the defeat true to his gentleman character. He cooperated in the transfer of power to Lim Guan Eng from DAP. He took full responsibility of the defeat and vowed not to accept ministerial appointment through senatorship as a matter of principle. Many felt for him and sympathised with him.
Hardly one year later, the new Prime Minister Najib has appointed him a Minister through this value-adding process. He accepted it happily... his dream finally materialized. He was criticised for not upholding his principle and accepted his appointment through this "back door" process. (In Malaysia, we have a setup called Upper House. Anybody, be it nobody, somebody, looser or even corrupted politician, just go in there, through this passage, you are value-added as a Senator, hooray...wahlao....you can be a minister - liao!) .
With his appointment, Koh is given a "chicken breast bone" (bony with little meat). It is a difficult ministry and un-enviable task, has little advantage to the revival of his party but may contribute to his downfall or even demise of his party. It is a double bladed sword too. Given the current situation, he has to take it. (contrary to Gerakan Youth leader Lim See Pin who called Koh's appointment as "Super Minister" overseeing 28 ministers' performance... siok sendiri le)
His appointment indicates:
1. BN politic is all about power and position.
2. The respectable gentleman Koh Tsu Koon has died.
3. Koh Tsu Koon the minister is just another power and position craving, principle-less politician.
4. He is enjoying gratuity, benefits as former state assemblyman, former chief minister, plus salary, allowances and perks of senator and minister (jia be liao!).
5. Without voters' support, he still can be a minister. So why bother to give him your vote.
6. His senatorship is a "gift" from UMNO. May not exactly be a puppet of UMNO, but definitely he has no "face".
7. His portfolio of national unity and key performance index of ministries makes him a clown and hastens his fall.
8. National unity? Koh is not able to unite his own tattered party before and after the March 8 election. Building unity is not a strong point for Koh.
9. A loser party president ..... what clout he has to judge the ministers' performance.... a mouse judging elephants, lions and tigers? doubtful KPI figures.
Looks like the Gerakan party has come to a dead end of gerak now!
在去年三月八号大选之前夕，民政党是浸淫在一个喜庆的气氛中。他们有很多值得 庆祝的理由。许子根将在大选中攻打国会议席，以让他能够从退休的党主席林敬益手中接过部长的职位。其他的党要也忙着在争取接过许子根上京后的首席部长空 缺，及还有其他的行政州议员的肥缺。一切都非常令人兴奋。
4. 他可以享受到前任州议员 、前任首席部长的退休恩俸，加上议员 、部长的薪金 、福利 及各种津贴，真的是“吃不完”！
8. 他官拜团结及表现指数部长，但他却不能在三零八大选之前 、之后团结自己的党内部。搞团结不是许子根的强项。
9. 一位不得选民支持的党主席，有什么威望可以评估部长的表现？就如老鼠给大象 、狮子及老虎评分。打出来的指数能够想信吗？可能这是狐假虎威的典型参考例子了。