Johor DAP chief throws in towel

JOHOR BARU - Dr Boo Cheng Hau will not seek re-election as DAP state chief during the state party elections in January, saying he has "had it" with interference from the top leadership.

Dr Boo said he would decline any nomination to the state committee, stressing that he made the decision because of an increase in factionalism and interference from top DAP leaders in state affairs.

"Interference from DAP leaders, including several urging me to step down, has taken place even before the 13th General Election," he told a press conference in Skudai here yesterday.

While he declined to reveal the names of the leaders, Dr Boo, who is Skudai assemblyman, said leaders in Kedah and Malacca were under pressure as well.

Dr Boo said some of the top leaders displayed "pompous and snobbish attitudes" but hoped they would change for the good of the party.

"During the last elections, they tried to embarrass me and force me to be submissive to their choice of candidates by initiating a smear campaign and alleging that the state committee did not perform up to par," he said.

Asked if the introduction of DAP candidates not originally from Johor such as Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang, Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong and Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching had led to more internal factionalism, Dr Boo declined to comment.

On whether Lim was one of the leaders involved, he replied: "I don't think he would do such a thing."

"Whoever takes over my position needs to ensure that DAP does better in the next elections and surpasses the current win of 13 state seats and four parliamentary seats in Johor," he said.

It was reported on Oct 19 that a silent "knockout" campaign had been initiated to oust Dr Boo and his deputy Norman Fernandez.

Among the names proposed include Liew or Jementah assemblyman Tan Chen Choon for the chairman's post and Mengkibol assemblyman Tan Hong Ping for the deputy's post.