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Another blow to DAP as chief resigns amid poor performance in polls.

Date: 02 Dec 1999
Time: 19:21:38


Another blow to DAP as chief resigns amid poor performance in polls

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 (AFP) - Malaysia's Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party (DAP) has suffered a second blow with its veteran leader Chen Man Hin deciding to step down as party chief, a report said Wednesday.

Chen, who has led the DAP since its inception in 1965, said his decison to step down was due to the party's dismal performance in Monday's general elections.

"I take full responsibility for the party's losses and so I am stepping down as party chairman," he was quoted as saying by the official Bernama news agency.

Bernama said Chen would hand in his resignation to the party Thursday when DAP leaders meet. Chen lost both the parliamentary and state seats he contested.

Chen, 75, expressed hope that young leaders from DAP would succeed him.

Lim Guan Eng, DAP deputy secretary-general told AFP that Chen would be asked to stay as party supremo.

"We will ask him to stay on. We hope he will stay. He has lots of experience," he added.

The Chinese-dominated party won 10 parliament seats, one more than in 1995, but Chen along with firebrand secretary-general Lim Kit Siang and deputy chairman Karpal Singh went down in defeat.

Lim, who lost his seat in Penang, said Tuesday the party took a risk for the country's sake in entering the Alternative Front alliance.

"Politically it was correct but we paid the price."

The alliance also includes the National Justice Party, the small Malaysian People's Party and the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS).

The National Front painted the PAS as an extremist party that would threaten the culture and religion of minority Chinese and Indians.

It said the Alternative Front was too dangerous to elect because it included the PAS. Lim said the "scare tactics" had worked.

Last changed: December 02, 1999